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California could be the first state in the US to allow gender-neutral IDs

Joseph McCormick January 26, 2017
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California could become the first state in the US to allow its citizens to opt for a nonbinary option on identification.

Senate Bill 179, introduced by Senator Toni Atkins, would allow Californians to identify as nonbinary on official identification documents.

It would also streamline the process, allowing citizens to update their gender on birth certificates, driving licences and identity cards.

If the bill is passed, California would be the first state in the US to allow a nonbinary option.

The bill’s co-sponsor, Senator Scott Wiener, said: “We have transgender people around this country who are living in fear as more and more states strip them of the most basic rights.

“When they go backwards, we go forwards.”

The Transgender Law Center said the law could help with issues faced by transgender people who do not have identification which does not reflect their gender identity or name.

This can also influence getting jobs, applying for credit cards and loans and other issues where people could be outed as trans.

The new bill adds to a law passed in 2013, also sponsored by Atkins, which allowed trans people to apply for new birth certificates.

But the 2013 law only allowed them to do so if they proved “clinically appropriate treatment.”

Related topics: California, nonbinary, US

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