California Opts to Officially Recognize Nonbinary Gender
"It's time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are," says state Sen. Scott Weiner.
California will become the first U.S. state to allow a nonbinary sex or gender designation on all standard state documents, including drivers licenses and birth certificates. Democratic Gov. Gerry Brown signed the bill on Sunday, meaning Californians will be able to choose "X" as their official sex or gender.
"For too long society has forced people into gender boxes," said state Sen. Scott Weiner (D–San Francisco), who co-sponsored the legislation with state Sen. Toni Atkins (D–San Diego). "It's time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are."
The new law also makes it easier to apply for a gender change on official documents, removing a requirement that applicants must have undergone physician-certified medical treatment toward a gender transition.
"I have dear friends in San Diego and around the state who have been waiting a long time for this," Atkins said after the signing. "I'm happy I was in a position to move this forward."
Atkins thanked Brown for recognizing "how difficult it can be for our transgender, nonbinary, and intersex family members, friends, and neighbors when they don't have an ID that matches their gender presentation" and said she hopes the change will "eliminate unnecessary stress and anxiety for many Californians."
The law goes into effect in January 2019.
Earlier this year, Oregon became the first state allow a nonbinary option on driver's licenses, becoming the first state to do so. For more on why libertarians should appreciate the change, see:
- "The Case for Gender Anarchy"
- "California May Add Gender Category 'X' to State IDs. Good—Your Gender Isn't the Government's Business."
Here's hoping more states follow California and Oregon's lead.