fbpx
Addressing maternal mental healthcare in AfricaRead more Qatar v. Ecuador to kick off FIFA World Cup 2022™ on 20 NovemberRead more Webb Fontaine Announces Launch of Niger National Single Window (NNSW) to Bolster TradeRead more Ethiopia: Loan from United Nations Fund Allows Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to Scale Up Fertilizers for Farmers in TigrayRead more How Choosing the Right Printer Helps Small Businesses and Content Creators to Save Time, Maximise Productivity and Achieve GrowthRead more The United States Contributes USD $223 Million to Help World Food Programme (WFP) Save Lives and Stave Off Severe Hunger in South SudanRead more Eritrea: World Breastfeeding WeekRead more Eritrean community festival in Scandinavian countriesRead more IOM: Uptick in Migrants Heading Home as World Rebounds from COVID-19Read more Network International & Infobip to offer WhatsApp for Business Banking Services to Financial Institution Clients across AfricaRead more

US issues first passport with ‘X’ gender

show caption
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm raises the Progress Pride Flag for the first time outside the Department of Energy on June 2, 2021./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Oct 28, 2021 - 10:40 AM

WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday announced its first passport with “X” for gender, a landmark step for people outside the binary male or female categories.

The State Department said it had issued a first passport with “X” for gender and would make the option routinely available by early 2022 both for passports and birth certificates of Americans abroad.

“I want to reiterate, on the occasion of this passport issuance, the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people — including LGBTQI+ persons,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken had promised to address the issue in June but said that there were technological hurdles that needed to be addressed.

Under Blinken, the State Department has also allowed US passport holders to select their gender on passports.

Previously, Americans required medical certification if they sought to mark a gender on their passports different than on their birth certificates or other documents.

The Human Rights Campaign, a leading advocacy group for LGBTQ rights, called the new passport policy “historic.”

The move “will mitigate the risk of discrimination, harassment and violence faced by millions of non-binary, intersex and gender non-conforming Americans who travel abroad,” said JoDee Winterhof, the group’s senior vice president of policy and political affairs.

“The United States must encourage other governments around the world to follow suit in adopting inclusive policies,” she said.

At least 11 other countries already have an “X” or “other” option for passports, according to the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion, a London-based advocacy group.

The countries include Canada, Germany and Argentina as well as India, Nepal and Pakistan, a legacy of South Asia’s historic concept of “hijra” intersex or transgender people.

The State Department made the announcement on the week of Intersex Awareness Day as it vowed to support people who face discrimination over their gender identity.

President Joe Biden has promised to make advocacy of LGBTQ rights a top priority of his administration.

It is a major shift from the previous administration of Donald Trump, during which Blinken’s predecessor Mike Pompeo barred US embassies from flying rainbow Pride flags.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.