Colorado Adds Gender Neutral Option to Driver's Licenses

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Rachel Kiley

Colorado made history Tuesday night by electing the nation’s first openly gay governor, but that won’t be the only advancement of LGBTQ rights the state makes this month.

Starting November 30th, under emergency rule, Colorado residents will be able to forego the usual binary gender choices of male or female on their driver’s licenses and opt for a third: X.

The decision comes after a district court ruled in favor of intersex activist Dana Zzyym, who requested to have “X” listed as their gender on their passport. Citing that case and an additional lawsuit involving a minor, Michael Hartman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, told The Denver Post that “the department needed to adopt a policy in line with those decisions to avoid the possibility of being sued.”

Only four other states and Washington, D.C. currently allow for an “X” designation on IDs for non-binary individuals. Unlike Oregon, the first to offer the option to anyone who self-identifies, Colorado will require a signature from a licensed medical or mental health provider on a change of sex designation form in order to make the change.

Though the signature requirement is still restrictive, it's a step forward from the gender reassignment surgery the state demands to change gender on a birth certificate. The nixing of that requirement, however, will be put to a vote by the Colorado Board of Health later this year. Also up for a vote: allowing a third gender option on Colorado birth certificates.

“This is an important step for the state of Colorado that the state documents reflect our values,” Hartman said. “People are people no matter their sex identification.”

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