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(WASHINGTON) – Four months after announcing it would allow a third-sex option for U.S. citizens on their passports, the State Department said on Wednesday it had issued one.
It is the first of its kind, marked with an “X” for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming US citizens.
The agency is still preparing to make the option widely available for passports and other documents, such as the consular report of birth abroad.
“I would like to reiterate, on the occasion of the issuance of this passport, the State Department’s commitment to promote the freedom, dignity and equality of all, including LGBTQI + people,” the porter said. – Statement by State Department Ned Price in a statement. He did not specify when the passport was issued or to whom.
In June, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that Americans could choose the gender displayed on their passports, no longer needing a medical certificate if their preference contradicted supporting documents such as birth certificates.
Adding a third sex option is “technologically complex and will take time for full systems updates,” Blinken said at the time. Price said on Wednesday the agency was still working on the issue, which should be an option for all regular passport applications early next year.
âThe Department also continues to work closely with other US government agencies to ensure as smooth a travel experience as possible for all passport holders, regardless of their gender identity,â he added.
Advocates say harassment by immigration and travel authorities of gender non-conforming people is common. Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, welcomed the announcement in June.
“Inaccurate identification documents expose transgender people to harassment and discrimination. US passport reform is a sensible way to improve the lives of transgender people,” Heng-Lehtinen said, adding that accurate documents are ” necessary for travel, banking, starting a new job and school. “
President Joe Biden promised these changes during his 2020 campaign.
“Transgender and non-binary people without identity documents that faithfully reflect their gender identity are often exposed to harassment and violence and denied employment, housing, essential public benefits and even the right to vote,” he said. stated his campaign website.
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