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Federal court allows intersex person to reopen lawsuit over gender neutral passport

Joseph McCormick June 27, 2017
American Passport

American passport

A federal district court has allowed an intersex person the right to reopen a lawsuit over a gender-neutral passport.

The Colorado court allows Navy veteran Dana Zzyym to reopen their lawsuit to push to be allowed a gender ‘x’ passport.

A court brief filed yesterday states that Zzyym has asked several times for the State Department to issue a gender ‘x’ passport several times since 2014.

gavel

In order to change legal gender, a person only needs a doctor’s note.

But despite having several letters from doctors stating that they are intersex, the State Department has not acknowledged them as valid.

A federal judge last year urged the Department to reconsider its decision but it once again refused.

“The Department is unaware of generally accepted medical standards for diagnosing and evaluating a transition to any sex other than male or female,” reads a State Department refusal letter dated May 1.

“Thus, the Department does not accept a medical certification that specifies transition to a sex other than male or female as evidence for the issuance of a passport.”

Zzyym currently has a birth certificate which reads “unknown”, and a driving licence which states that they are female, and several letters from doctors.

But they are left unable to leave the US, despite having invitations to speak around the world, they have been unable to go.

“My work as an advocate for the intersex community is incredibly important to me, and I’m unable to do my job because I don’t have a passport,” Zzyym said in a statement.

“The State Department is in effect forcing me to lie about who I am, and I’m not going to do that. No one should be forced to lie about who they are.”

The lawsuit was filed back in 2015 originally.

“This isn’t that hard. Several countries issue passports with gender markers other than ‘F’ or ‘M,'” Paul Castillo, Zzyym’s Lambda Legal attorney, said.

“And just this past month, Oregon officials unanimously voted to allow state residents to select ‘X’ as a gender marker for their driver’s licenses and state IDs. And it looks like other states will soon follow suit. If Oregon can do it, why can’t the U.S. State Department?”

More: gender x, passport, US, zzyym

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