State Department issues first gender-neutral passport

The State department confirmed the news Wednesday, although the identity of the person to whom the passport was issued was not revealed. The U.S. special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, Jessica Stern, told the Associated Press that the new option for the document reflects the “lived reality” that increasingly more people identify with a gender different than the one they were assigned at birth.

“When a person obtains identity documents that reflect their true identity, they live with greater dignity and respect,” Stern said.

In June, the State department said a third gender marker could be available for applicants to elect to choose on their passport as part of an effort to make the document more inclusive to nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people. A department official told AP that the proposal, which would require large technological changes to databases, would be under consideration and review for a significant amount of time, pending approval from the Office of Management and Budget.

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