California’s Democratic governor has signed a bill into law that will add a third gender option to driver’s licenses for residents who do not identify as male or female.
Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed into law Senate Bill 179, known as the “Gender Recognition Act,” which will allow applicants for driver’s licenses in California to have three options for gender: male, female or “nonbinary.”
The bill, which goes into effect on January 1, 2019, asserts that the traditional gender designations of male and female “fail to adequately represent the diversity of human experience.”
“Nonbinary is an umbrella term for people with gender identities that fall somewhere outside of the traditional conceptions of strictly either female or male,” the bill says. “People with nonbinary gender identities may or may not identify as transgender, may or may not have been born with intersex traits, may or may not use gender-neutral pronouns, and may or may not use more specific terms to describe their genders, such as agender, genderqueer, gender fluid, Two Spirit, bigender, pangender, gender nonconforming, or gender variant.”
Sen. Scott Wiener, who is openly homosexual, co-authored the legislation with Sen. Toni Atkins.
“The inability for people to accurately identify themselves on government documents has been a real, tangible issue for the community for years, and this policy to fix it is long overdue,” Wiener said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “Forcing people to lie on their government documents is terrible policy and a violation of people’s basic civil rights.”
“With Governor Brown’s signature on this bill, transgender and nonbinary people will now be able to be who they are, not who society forces them to be,” he also remarked in a statement. “For too long society has forced people into gender boxes. It’s time for government to get out of the way and let people live their lives authentically as who they are.”
Atkins likewise praised the bill as an important development.
“I want to thank Governor Brown for recognizing how difficult it can be for our transgender, nonbinary and intersex family members, friends and neighbors when they don’t have an ID that matches their gender presentation,” she said. “The Gender Recognition Act will eliminate unnecessary stress and anxiety for many Californians, and it exemplifies the leadership role that our state continues to take in LGBTQ civil rights.” Full report