Jun 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Passport applicants will be able to select gender without medical documentation

Members and allies of the LGBTQ community participate in the Pride Walk and Rally through downtown Washington, DC on June 12, 2021.
Members and allies of the LGBTQ community participate in the Pride Walk through downtown D.C. on June 12. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Passport applicants will be able mark their self-identified gender without medical documentation, per a new State Department rule that is likely to be issued Wednesday, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The rule is set to be announced on the last day of Pride Month and marks the first step toward creating a gender marker on U.S. passports for individuals who identify as nonbinary, intersex or do not conform to gender roles, per the Times.

  • The process of officially implementing the rule for U.S. documents will take time to complete, the Times reports.
  • In the meantime, those who are applying for passports or proof of citizenship won't have to show medical certification if their stated gender does not match their other identified documents.

The big picture: Biden on the campaign trail said that he would push for expanded access to accurate identification documents, adding that without documented proof of their self-identified gender, transgender and nonbinary people risk being denied employment, housing and the right to vote.

  • Similar policies exist in Canada, Australia, Argentina, Nepal and New Zealand, per the Times.
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