U.S. passport applicants can now ‘self-select their gender’ without medical certification even if gender doesn’t match other documents

Applicants to U.S. passports will now be able to self-select their gender as “M” or “F” without medical certification, even if their gender doesn’t match other identity or citizenship documents.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the updated procedures for the issuance of U.S. Passports, as well as Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, would begin “most immediately.”

“The Department of State is committed to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people — including LGBTQI+ persons,” Blinken said in a news release, noting that President Biden has taken a number of executive actions to protect LGBTQ rights in the U.S. and abroad since he took office earlier this year.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that the department will be taking further steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex, by beginning the process of updating our procedures for the issuance of U.S. Passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA),” he announced.

The U.S. Department of State is updating procedures to allow passport applicants to self-select their gender as “M” or “F” without medical certification, even if their gender doesn’t match other identity or citizenship documents. (Shutterstock/)

By updating the department’s policies on gender, Blinken said that the administration is reaffirming “our enduring commitment to the LGBTQI+ community today and moving forward.”

Additionally, the State Department is also “moving towards adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons” applying for the documents, according to Blinken.

Adding a third option for gender, often referred to as an “X gender designation,” will take longer to implement, as it is “technologically complex” and it will require time for “extensive systems updates.”

However, the department is evaluating the “best approach to achieve this goal,” and working closely with “interagency partners to ensure as smooth a travel experience as possible for the passport holder.”

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, nearly 20 states already have self-attestation and an “X” designation on IDs.

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