OR first USA state to offer third gender marker on state IDs

Adjust Comment Print

That decision prompted OR officials to examine how they could recognise a third gender in its computer systems and affect the state's gender laws.

Currently, Oregon has two gender options on state IDs: M for male and F for female.

In 2016, non-binary people won a victory in OR when Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Amy Holmes Hehn legally changed Jamie Shupe's gender. OR has been very progressive with LGBT rights, having been the first to elect an openly LGBTQ governor named Kate Brown.

The ruling, which is believed to be the first of its kind, allowed Portland resident Jamie Shupe to mark that designation in a standard petition for change of sex.

Gender identity has become a major flashpoint across the U.S. in places like North Carolina, which passed a bill forcing students to use toilets according to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

"In national surveys, people who have to present ID that does not match their gender identity or expression frequently report being harassed and are sometimes attacked or assaulted", Hayley Gorenberg, Lambda's Deputy Legal Director, said, "Encounters with police, hospital staff, employers, airport staff, bank tellers - really anyone checking identification in the ordinary course of life - often take on threatening dimensions when our ID misrepresents our gender". It did not need legislative action because state law does not specify that drivers must choose male or female.

A new rule was adopted by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles on Thursday.

"I'm incredibly thrilled to be an Oregonian right now", said Gibbons, who identifies as non-binary.

As OPB's Kristian Foden-Vencil reported a year ago, several other countries recognize a third gender, including India, Pakistan, Australia and Germany. The American Medical Association's House of Delegates passed a resolution just this week calling for improved public education about the "medical spectrum of gender identity", necessary because gender is "incompletely understood as a binary selection".

The news was met with excitement and happiness online - especially with the approval to add "X" coming in the middle of Pride Month. I'm a mixture of both. According to Basic Rights Oregon, even the United Nations already uses a non-binary gender marker, X. "I consider myself as a third sex". About 20,000 people in the state are transgender.