Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
World News | By Penny Hart

Male, female or X? Oregon adds third option to driver's licenses

Male, female or X? Oregon adds third option to driver's licenses

OR is showing its pride this month!

In a decision praised by transgender rights activists, OR will be the first state to allow residents to mark a third, "not specified" gender option on state identification cards.

Earlier this year, the Canadian province of Ontario implemented the option of an X gender on licenses.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — In a move hailed by LGBT rights groups, OR became the first state in the U.S. on Thursday to allow residents to mark their gender as "not specified" on applications for driver's licenses, learner's permits and identity cards.

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.

In addition to "F" and "M", people will be able to choose "X".

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This includes individuals with both male and female anatomies, people without a gender identity and those who identify as a different gender than listed on their birth certificate.

One Oregonian led the way for a non-gender option on state IDs when Jamie Shupe fought in court to be recognized as a non-binary gender.

As for the licenses, the final decision was ultimately up to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles. "It's something that we should do because it's the right thing to do". Following Shupe's win, at least 12 other people in OR and California have changed their gender designation to non-binary OR agender.

Australia and New Zealand have already have the option to choose "X" on their passports, and passport applicants in India can pick Male, Female or Eunuch. Recently, a bill passed through the California House Senate, which would similarly allow for a third gender-neutral option. The California Family Council, a conservative Christian group, opposes it, arguing that "government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification".

During public hearings on the change, most comments were in favour, according to a summary by DMV officials. "Time was required to study state laws, update computer systems, work with business partners such as law enforcement and courts, and change administrative rules".

"I've trembled with the fear of failure and cried tears until I had no more tears to cry, because of the magnitude of what's been at stake-and now won", Shupe told NBC News.

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