THURSDAY, July 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. passport applicants will soon be able to select their gender as "M" or "F" and won't require a doctor's note if their chosen gender doesn't match the gender on other documents such as citizenship papers or driver's licenses, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday.
Also, the U.S. State Department will add an option for nonbinary, intersex and gender nonconforming people when they apply for a passport or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), CBS News reported.
"The Department is taking these steps after considerable consultation with like-minded governments who have undertaken similar changes," Blinken said in a statement.
He noted that the process is "technologically complex" and would take "extensive system updates," but also said the State Department would try to provide interim solutions on its website, CBS News reported.
The passport changes come as the Biden Administration aims to solidify LGBTQ+ rights. President Biden is pushing hard to have Congress pass the Equality Act, which would mandate legal protections for LGBTQ+ Americans and condemn a slew of discriminatory bills enacted recently by a number of state legislatures.
According to the National Center for Transgender Youth, during the 2021 legislative session, 23 states have debated more than 50 bills focused on transgender youth, CBS News said.
The changes to passport rules announced Wednesday mirror steps taken at the White House. In January, the White House website was altered to allow for more inclusive pronouns, including they/them, other or prefer not to share, in addition to she/her and he/him.
Details on current passport application rules can be found at the U.S. Department of State.
SOURCE: CBS News