Americans can now select their chosen gender on passports without providing medical documentation, according to a new Biden administration rule.
As explained by a State Department announcement released on Wednesday:
You can now select the gender you would like printed on your U.S. passport, even if the gender you select does not match the gender on your supporting documentation such as a birth certificate, previous passport, or state ID. We no longer require medical certification to change the gender marker on your U.S. passport.
To request a new passport with a different gender than the one you have on your current passport, or if you are applying for your first passport, submit a new application and select your preferred gender marker. Follow the steps on this page to learn which form to submit. You can select “M” or “F” which are the gender markers currently available. We are working to add a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons as soon as possible.
The ACLU unveiled that Americans will soon be able to select “X” as a gender marker instead of “M” or “F” — a move that the organization called a “victory for trans, non-binary and intersex people” who are seeking “accurate” federal IDs.
BREAKING: The Biden administration is announcing today plans to issue passports with an “X” gender marker without requiring medical documentation.
This is a victory for trans, non-binary and intersex people who have long sought accurate federal IDs.
— ACLU (@ACLU) June 30, 2021
Activist news site The 19th further details:
According to a source within the administration, nonbinary Americans are expected to be able to obtain the interim X gender markers by the end of the year. The new rule marks the most substantial change to federal documents for transgender people since 2010, when the Obama administration put in place a policy to allow trans Americans to update their passports.
News of the policy came on the last day of “Pride Month” — a period of heightened activity for LGBTQ+ activism.
The Biden administration expressed support for “Pride Month” while slamming the “many States in which LGBTQ+ individuals still lack protections for fundamental rights and dignity in hospitals, schools, public accommodations, and other spaces.” He also claimed that “some States have chosen to actively target transgender youth through discriminatory bills that defy our Nation’s values of inclusivity and freedom for all.”
President Biden also touted the Equality Act — a piece of legislation that would add ban discrimination according to “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — as a measure that would introduce “protections for LGBTQ+ people and families across our country.” However, conservatives are worried that the Equality Act could threaten First Amendment freedoms for religious business owners, adoption care providers, educators, and places of worship.