California becomes the first state to legally recognize a third gender
"SB 179 helps people of all gender identities be their authentic selves."
Last weekend, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that allows residents to choose a third, nonbinary gender on state identity documents.
The Gender Recognition Act also makes it easier for transgender and nonbinary people to change their legal gender marker, removing the requirement for a physician’s statement that they have had “clinical treatment.” Another bill the governor signed allows trans people to change their name while incarcerated.
“As the LGBT community — but especially the trans community — is under assault in this country, California needs to go in the opposite direction and embrace the trans community and support the trans community and modernize these laws,” State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who co-sponsored the bill alongside Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), said in a statement.
While Oregon and Washington D.C. have undergone steps to make it easier for citizens to legally identify as non-binary, California is the first to enshrine a third gender category into law.
This is huge. Congratulations, California. Let’s hope more states follow.