The US State Department has issued its first gender-neutral passport and will soon allow any applicant to choose an “X” instead of a traditional male or female option. Online commentators rolled their eyes at the government’s priorities.
The State Department announced the issuance of the passport on Wednesday, with spokesman Ned Price saying the United States “Continues to take action to demonstrate our commitment to promoting freedom, dignity and equality for all, including LGBTQI + American citizens.”
The news came three months after the State Department gave trans-Americans the option to change the gender on their passports without providing medical documents to prove their transition. At the time, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said those responsible were still “Evaluate the best approach” for a non-binary option.
Some states in the US allow non-binary people to identify themselves as “X” on driver’s licenses or other identification, and a number of countries already allow the option of the third sex on passports. Among them are Argentina, Canada and New Zealand, while more than a dozen other countries issue third-sex passports to intersex or non-binary people under certain circumstances. The option will be made available to all U.S. applicants in early 2022.
While anyone who identifies with the “X” will surely be delighted with the latest news, online commentators have not been impressed. “These are our priorities now” a cynical commentator wrote. “I wonder how other non-Western countries will take it when these X people enter their country …”
“It’s much more important than getting the Americans out of Afghanistan,” another Twitter user jibe. “Finally, our State Department is focusing on what is really important !!! “
Who cares about Afghanistan, the border crisis, skyrocketing inflation and off the charts crime. The Biden administration has been far too busy with far more important things like this. https://t.co/uyZhXJuu7c
– Mr. T 2 (@GovtsTheProblem) October 27, 2021
Gender-neutral IDs were just a promise Joe Biden made to the LGBT community during the election campaign. His campaign also promised to protect “LGBTQ + individuals against violence”, extend legal protections to transgender people by passing the Equality Act and grant transgender youth access to washrooms and changing rooms of their choice.
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