California legislators are considering a bill that would add “non-binary” as a gender on state identification cards.
The Gender Recognition Act of 2017, introduced Thursday, would include “non-binary” on state IDs, drivers licenses and birth certificates, reports Mercury News.
Democratic State Sen. Toni Atkins from San Diego introduced the bill, which is co-sponsored by eight other Democrats. On top of adding “non-binary,” the bill also lets transgender citizens change their state documentation without needing a medical statement or a court order.
“We have transgender people around this country who are living in fear as more and more states strip them of the most basic rights,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener, who helped write the bill. “When they go backwards, we go forwards.”
Transgender activists have come out in support of the bill, saying that transgenders will no longer have to live in fear. Sasha Buchert, a member of the Transgender Law Center, said that many transgenders often get harassed when their identification and preferred gender don’t align.
“You can imagine the chilling effect that this has on people’s lives,” Buchert said.
The conservative group California Family Council spoke out against the bill.
“While we are sympathetic to the difficulties facing those experiencing gender dysphoria, we believe government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification and medical purposes,” a statement from CEO Jonathan Keller said.
They said that the bill promotes the lie that “being male or female, or no gender at all is a choice each person must make, not a fact to celebrate and accept.”
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