Controversies

California lawmakers want 'third gender option' for drivers' licenses

Legislation introduced in California would create a third gender option on drivers’ licenses and expedite the process for individuals to change their sex on their birth certificate without undergoing a sex change.

The "Gender Recognition Act," sponsored by state senators Toni Atkins of San Diego and Scott Weiner of San Francisco, would add "nonbinary" to the list of male and female genders on state identification documents.

"Our society is becoming more enlightened every day about gender identity," said Atkins when introducing the bill last week. "It’s time for our state to make it easier for transgender Californians and those who don’t conform to traditional notions of gender to have state-issued identification documents that reflect who they truly are." She added: "This bill will help them avoid the discrimination and harassment that too many of these residents face in their daily lives.”

California law currently requires individuals seeking to change their birth certificate to provide proof from a doctor that they have undergone "clinically appropriate treatment for the purpose of gender transition."

The new legislation would remove this requirement and allow individuals to change their gender without a hearing, if no one files an objection.

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