Gender-Neutral Driver’s Licenses Coming to WA State?
The often used term is "non-binary," others refer to it as "gender neutral." Either way, that option for a person's driver's license could be coming soon if Gov. Inslee has his way.
According to multiple sources, Inslee this week began what is being called a push for inclusion, with a proposal that would offer three gender choices for a license, or other state issued ID card.
The person could choose male, female or "X". The "X" would indicate a person who is not necessarily (identifying with) male or female. According to the new director of the state Department of Licensing who took over in 2018, they have received 'a number' of inquiries about the option. According to officials some people who changed their gender on their birth certificate were not able to do so on their license.
2 public hearings, both on the West Side, have been scheduled for August 12 and 13 in Olympia and Seattle. Depending upon public input and other factors, the DOL says they could begin to offer the option as soon as October.
Critics say specific gender identification is necessary in law enforcement, such as a description of a suspect. Using traditional terms such as male or female, along with other characteristics such as height, weight, hair color etc, helps create an image in a person's mind regardless of their gender preference. They say a person's preference might not necessarily correspond with their actual gender appearance.
Supporters say it's a long over due measure of inclusion. If it does take place, Washington state will be the fourth such state to offer this, joining Maine, Oregon, California and the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.).
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