Rule Gives Oregonians Non-Gender Option on Driver's License

Male, female or X? Oregon adds third option to driver's licenses

Male, female or X? Oregon adds third option to driver's licenses

"It's fitting that this is before us during pride week in OR and pride month around the country".

OR just became the first state in the U.S.to offer a gender-neutral option on driver's licenses and IDs, a huge win for individuals in the state who do not identify as male or female.

OR is the only USA state to allow an unspecified gender, but other countries including Germany, India, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand also allow a third gender option.

The change became inevitable after an OR judge's decision last June to allow then 52-year-old Jamie Shupe the right to legally identify as non-binary, which was thought to be a first in the United States, according to NPR.

Among them is US Army veteran Jamie Shupe who a year ago became the first person in the US to legally change their gender to non-binary. It did not need legislative action because state law does not specify that drivers must choose male or female.

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The June 2016 landmark decision allowed Jamie Shupe to change her gender to non-binary, which refers to gender identities that do not fall into the binary categories of male and female.

Governor Kate Brown, who is out as bi and who signed the bill into law, made history previous year when she became the first out LGB person to win election as governor of a USA state.

In a statement, the Department of Motor Vehicles said that "time was required to study state laws, update computer systems, work with business partners such as law enforcement and courts, and change administrative rules".

As OPB's Kristian Foden-Vencil reported previous year, several other countries recognize a third gender, including India, Pakistan, Australia and Germany.

"There's a little more truth and justice in the world today", said Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization that advocates for the civil rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people.

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It's the first time a US state has recognized non-binary identities.

OR might not be alone for long: In January, California lawmakers introduced a bill that would add a third gender option to licenses, as well. "This was always the right thing to do all along", he added.

OR officials said they got little opposition to the change at a public hearing or in comments. "I consider myself as a third sex", Shupe added.

Gender identity has become a major flashpoint across the U.S. in places like North Carolina, which passed a bill forcing students to use toilets according to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

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