Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday that Americans applying for U.S. passports will be able to choose their gender identity and won’t need to obtain medical documentation or certification if their choice does not comport with biology at birth.
In addition, Blinken said the State Department will soon allow applicants the choice of self-describing as “non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming” on their passports, but noted that change would take more time to implement because of “extensive system updates.”
Blinken hailed the change as an additional step “toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex.”
He went on to say that he announced the change “after considerable consultation with like-minded governments who have undertaken similar changes.”
Today we are taking important steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens. https://t.co/tfNnTUQmsp
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) June 30, 2021
In a statement, the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union cheered the decision to add another gender identification choice.
“Improved access to accurate passports will have such a profound impact on the lives of trans, intersex, and non-binary folks across the country,” said ACLU campaign strategist Arli Christian, according to the organization’s website. “Now people will be able to fill out a passport application and indicate M, F, or X — whichever is most appropriate for them.
“Despite a hateful wave of anti-trans legislation this year, trans, non-binary, and intersex people know who we are and we need recognition of who we are — not permission,” Christian added. “Today’s action demonstrates an important first step in realizing a whole-of-government policy for accurate IDs.”
Blinken’s Wednesday announcement was his latest in acknowledging the LGBTQ community, which Gallup says amounts to about 5.6 percent of the U.S. population.
In April, the nation’s top diplomat authorized U.S. embassies and missions to fly the rainbow Pride flag on the same pole as the American flag. And last week, he announced that the State Dept. would also fly the “Progress” flag, a banner containing a black, brown, light blue, pink, and white chevron into the Pride design, in a first to denote Pride Month.
“We … value our continued engagement with the LGBTQI+ community, which will inform our approach and positions moving forward,” Blinken said. “With this action, I express our enduring commitment to the LGBTQI+ community today and moving forward.”
Not everyone sees Blinken’s announcement in a positive light, with some voicing concerns about how other countries may react while others questioned the secretary of state’s priorities.
“When this passport is used in a country where homosexual acts are forbidden, wouldn’t this put the bearer in an uncomfortable position,” one user wrote at Fox News. “The person could be held for further questioning. Have their every move watched, etc. Not every country will view this as a good idea. Some may just reject it on the grounds that there are only two sexes. You are a male, or a female, GODS choice not yours.”
“Libs are going to quickly find out that ‘Change Your Gender Each Day‘ is not a policy to which most countries ascribe,” said another reader.
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