Biden Admin Adds 'Third Gender' Option to American Passports
Secretary of State announces 'very expensive' taxpayer-funded change
Democrat Joe Biden's administration has announced it is adding a "third gender" option to American passports.
The move was revealed by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who acknowledged that the change will be "very expensive" and "technology complex."
However, Biden's State Department argues that it's a necessary use of taxpayer funds.
The policy change is part of Biden’s State Department’s effort to take “further steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex,” Blinken said in a statement.
Blinken confirmed the Biden administration is currently “evaluating the best approach to achieve this goal.”
He admitted that adding a gender option is far from a simple change.
Once the U.S. has a third gender option in place, it will join a growing number of countries with such a passport option, including Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Nepal, and New Zealand, according to NBC News.
In the more immediate term, U.S. passport applicants will be able to "self-select" their gender.
They will no longer be required to provide medical documentation of their gender identity either.
They will not need to provide proof of gender, even if their application does not match the gender marker on their other identity documents.
The Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, applauded the upcoming policy changes.
The group said in a statement that the change will “decrease the risk of discrimination, harassment, and violence for an already vulnerable group.”
“This is an important step towards achieving meaningful progress for LGBTQ equality in America,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement.
"[It] will empower and enable millions of citizens to travel domestically and internationally with greater confidence that the United States recognizes their gender identity."
David also called for other countries to follow America's lead.
He said he hopes Biden will “encourage other nations to adopt inclusive policies that support non-binary and transgender people.”