Non-Binary Option Proposed For US Passports

Megan Goldsby
February 26, 2020 - 11:42 am
Passport

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The United States is in line to be the next country to allow a third option for gender on passports under a new bill by a Bay Area congressman.

In addition to male and female, there would be an option for "unspecified" gender under the proposal from Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Santa Clara).

“It would allow people who are non-binary to have an appropriate marker for their identity,” Khanna said. “Currently on the passport, if you travel, you can only have an identity of male or female.”

Khanna says this option is something we should all have on our passport, and that it’s already been done in India, Australia and Canada, among other places, have similarly expanded their passports to include a non-binary identification.

“Having something marked on your passport that doesn’t line up with how you look could be dangerous for some travelers,” Khanna said.

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He also says that the bill has already gotten an “overwhelming support” from many Democratic colleagues and in Washington.

“The chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee is supportive, and even the State Department has not dismissed the idea,” Khanna said. “They understand that change is needed to be more inclusive.”

The Senate, he says, will prove to be a challenge.

“Of course like any good bill, these things go to die in the senate,” said Khanna. “And the senate has passed nothing under Mitch McConnell, so that’s going to be the real challenge.”