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New Hampshire is the 13th US state to add X gender option to drivers licenses

Vic Parsons July 13, 2019

Former New Hampshire democrat Carol Shea-Porter at a Pride Day event in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Residents of the US state of New Hampshire will be able to choose a third gender option on their drivers licenses and state identification documents, starting in January 2020.

The governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu, allowed a bill that makes the changes law to pass on July 10 – although he didn’t sign it.

Democrat Gerri Cannon, who was the primary sponsor of the bill, said that even though Sununu didn’t sign the bill she’s happy with the outcome.

“It is a statement that even if the governor doesn’t necessarily fully agree with what was there, people’s will can be respected and the law can be put into place,” Cannon said.

“For those people who identify as neither male nor female, this is an opportunity for them to have [an] identification document that recognises them for who they are.”

The passing of bill HB 669 will mean that from 2020, non-binary New Hampshire residents will be able to have driving licenses and other state ID documents that reflect their gender identity.

Devon Chaffee, executive director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, said, “This victory is life-changing for the many Granite Staters who identify as non-binary, and is another step toward decreasing stigmatisation, promoting equality, and ensuring that state identification documents are accurate and affirming.”

“Last year, we worked to put comprehensive discrimination protections for transgender people into law, and this year, we’re building on that incredible success,” said Linds Jakows, former campaign manager for Freedom NH.

“The last two years demonstrate the incredible momentum and support in New Hampshire for the trans and gender non-binary community,” Jakows said.

Twelve other states currently have state-level recognition of non-binary people’s genders. The most recent to make the change was Hawaii, which added non-binary gender options to driving licenses at the same time as banning the “gay or trans panic” defence in murder cases on June 28.

According to the Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project, another four US states have recognised at least one non-binary persons gender on ID cards under court order, although the changes haven’t been passed into law.

More: ACLU, New Hampshire, non-binary

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