‘Nonbinary’ 3rd gender now an option on California IDs

‘Nonbinary’ 3rd gender now an option on California IDs
California Governor Jerry Brown signed the 'Gender Recognition Act' into law Sunday, affording citizens the ability to change their gender designation on state identification papers and birth certificates to a third option: 'nonbinary.'

Senate Bill 179 describes the nonbinary designation as an “umbrella term for people with gender identities that fall somewhere outside of the traditional conceptions of strictly either female or male.” This covers transgender and intersex individuals.

“Thank you, @JerryBrownGov, for signing #SB179! Everyone should be able to have IDs that match who they are,” the bill's co-author Democratic Senator Toni Atkins of San Diego said on Twitter. “Great day for LGBTQ rights!”

"The Gender Recognition Act will eliminate unnecessary stress and anxiety for many Californians, and it exemplifies the leadership role that our state continues to take in LGBTQ civil rights," Atkins said in a statement, as cited by Buzzfeed News.

The measure eliminates the need for a court order or proof of clinical treatment to change one's gender on official documents.

The California state registrar must issue new birth certificates upon receipt of a signed affidavit that the new gender identity is not required for any fraudulent or nefarious purposes.

Oregon's Department of Motor Vehicles offered the nonbinary option 'X' in June, with similar measures introduced in Canada.

Oregon, Washington D.C., Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Thailand and parts of Canada already offer some legal recognition of non-binary genders.

“As gender identities continue to expand and our concepts of gender continue to expand, governments are going to have to grapple with it and figure out how to be responsive to the way people understand themselves and live their lives,” said Jody L. Herman of the Williams Institute Scholar of Public Policy, according to the Sacramento Bee, adding that other states are capable of introducing such measures.

The California DMV is expected to incur expenses of up to $880,000 to update its systems to facilitate the third option, BuzzFeed reports.