People can self-select gender when applying for passport; additional options coming

The Department of State is updating procedures for passport applications.
The Department of State is updating procedures for passport applications.(Gray News)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 5:20 AM HST
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(Gray News) - The Department of State is taking steps to promote inclusiveness and equality of all people.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced Wednesday the department is updating procedures for the issuance of U.S. Passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that the department will be taking further steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex,” Blinken said in a news release.

Applicants can now self-select their gender as “M” or “F” and will no longer need medical certification if the self-designations does not match the gender on other identity documents.

Blinken said the department is moving toward adding a gender marker for applicants who identify as non-binary, intersex or gender non-conforming, explaining that the process to make these changes is “technologically complex and will take time for extensive system updates.”

“The department is taking these steps after considerable consultation with like-minded governments who have undertaken similar changes,” Blinken said. “We also value our continued engagement with the LGBTQI+ community, which will inform our approach and positions moving forward.”

The state department will provide updates on the process on its website.

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