Oregon becomes first state to give non-gender option on driver's license

Oregon DMV headquarters

Transgender-rights advocates have pushed for such a "nonbinary" choice for legal documents because it fits their identities and helps protect them from discrimination and harassment when their identity does not appear to match a gender required on ID documents.

Residents can now freely change their gender on their driver's licenses without a doctor's note saying they are transgender or non-binary.

"The "X" is in use internationally, and in fact it's a standard recommended by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators", said David House, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles.

OR made history this week by becoming the first state in the USA to legally recognize non-binary, intersex and agender people on driver's licenses and ID cards. "I very much plan to head to the nearest DMV and ask for that ID to be corrected on July 3rd", Shupe told Reuters. "Removing barriers for people is critical to helping all of us live healthy, productive lives". Out reports that the change will go into effect on July 3.

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Governor Kate Brown, who is out as bi and who signed the bill into law, made history previous year when she became the first out LGB person to win election as governor of a USA state. She said the move is a step towards "a society that upholds the rights, liberties and dignity of each of its people".

The policy comes at a time when the U.S.is becoming somewhat more receptive to the idea that gender identity - whether you feel yourself to be male, female, or other - is about self-perception, and distinct from the sex you're assigned at birth.

And then it got personal: At public hearings in Eugene and Portland in early May, 71 people spoke in favor of adding the "X".

Gender non-binary residents will soon be able to select "X" for non-specified gender when they apply for their identification cards.

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While new to the United States, non-binary gender markers are not new-other cultures and other countries have recognized non-binary genders for many years, including Canada, India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal. Recently, a bill passed through the California House Senate, which would similarly allow for a third gender-neutral option.

Gender binary is history-in the West Coast, at least.

That 2016 ruling prompted state officials to examine how to allow a third option in the state's computer systems and how such a change would interact with the state's gender laws.

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