Not Male or Female: Oregon May Become First State to Allow 'Non-Binary' on IDs

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Oregon may soon become the first state to allow people to identify as neither male nor female on government-issued identification.

The Oregonian reports government officials are holding a hearing in Portland on Wednesday to discuss allowing people to choose whether they want to put “F,” “M,” or “X” as their sex on their driver’s licenses and identification cards.

The move was reportedly first discussed by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles in the summer of 2016.

Amy Herzfeld-Copple, the director of Basic Rights Oregon, an organization dedicated to ensuring the equality of “all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Oregonians,” welcomed the proposal.

“Some people don't identify as male or female,” she explained. “We're excited by the DMV proposal because it's an important step in recognizing what we already know to be true. Gender is a spectrum.”

In Oregon, there is precedent for allowing people to identify as non-binary on their government IDs.

In 2016, the Multnomah County Circuit Court ruled Jamie Shupe could legally change her gender from “female” to “non-binary.”

It was reportedly the first ruling to allow someone to identify as non-binary.

After the court ruling, the Department of Motor Vehicles was not prepared to offer Shupe the option to be non-binary on a driver’s license.

Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman David House said the agency “needed time,” and that law enforcement had not updated its database to allow people to identify as non-binary.

Of the new proposal, Shupe said, “We have a system in much of this nation that is forcing intersex, transgender and nonbinary people to make a choice between male or female, when it doesn't fit them or accurately describe them.”

“In the case of people like me, it's like making a mixed-race kid identify as white, and pretend to be white and have the doctors trying to make them white,” Shupe continued.

The Oregonian notes that, according to a 2015 survey of transgender people, a third identify as being neither fully male nor fully female.

According to House, the move to allow people to identify as whatever they choose does not need to be approved by the legislature, as state law does not require a driver has to choose solely between male and female.

According to the Oregonian, at the last public hearing on the issue, no one opposed the measure.

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