If you were expecting any sort of change in the rather “unique” culture of California after the last election you can probably forget it about it. If anything, they’re going full speed ahead in being really, really California now. A new piece of legislation introduced this week will make a change to driver’s licenses, birth certificates and other official records allowing the state’s denizens to break free of those pesky old labels about being either male for female. Coming up soon you may be able to select none of the above.
California driver’s licenses and birth certificates could have a third option for gender in addition to male or female under legislation unveiled Thursday by Democratic lawmakers.
The bill by state Sens. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would establish a new nonbinary gender marker for official state documents.
Lawmakers framed the measure as an expansion of rights for transgender, intersex and other people who do not identify as male or female.
“It will keep California at the forefront of LGBTQ civil rights,” Atkins said at a Capitol press conference.
No word yet on what the third option will be called, but the article suggests that in addition to “M” and “F” they may go with “X.”
There’s more to the new law than just a third box on a form you fill out at the DMV, however. There were already provisions in Golden State law allowing you to change your gender from one side to the other despite your obvious chromosomal framework, but they at least wanted you to put in the effort of going through some sort of medical treatment and providing proof of same. Not any more, campers! That was too burdensome. Now you can just go in to your local state offices, tell them that you don’t really feel like your old sex anymore and you’re good to go. Oh, and you don’t even have to be an adult. People under the age of 18 will be able to do the same. It’s not mentioned whether or not the parents need to be involved in this little detail.
I wonder if anyone has asked law enforcement how they feel about this? If anyone can just go in at any time and change gender on all of their records, it might make it a little tough for the cops to investigate a crime when their database tells them they’re looking for a woman and it turns out to be a guy. I’m also interested to find out how these documents will be received in other states if the individual moves to a place where they specify gender based on your sex at birth and other pesky science topics. Will the Full Faith and Credit Clause be interpreted to mean that your North Carolina drivers license will have a gender indication matching your modified California birth certificate, science be damned?
We’ve lived to see interesting times. If you thought 2016 was wild, just wait and see what’s next. We don’t have much in the way of indications as to how Donald Trump feels about the whole Title IX, transgender school and bathroom question, but Mike Pence previously said that both he and Trump felt it was a state level issue. We’ve heard from a couple of GOP sources that Trump will be putting out something on Title IX fairly soon so we should have an answer coming up which will hold us over until Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. makes it past the Supremes this spring.