California Officially Recognizes a Nonbinary Gender Category
Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017
By Langenkamp, Curtis, Price, Lindstrom & Chevedden, LLP
California signed the Gender Recognition Act into law, becoming the first state to officially recognize a third gender category for official state documents. Previously, a person could seek to obtain a change of gender on a birth certificate only after undergoing medical treatment for the purpose of gender transition. The new law, passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Governor Brown, specifically recognizes that gender identification is fundamentally personal and provides three gender options on state-issued identification documents: female, male, and nonbinary. The law eliminates any requirement that a person have undergone surgery to apply for a change of gender on state issued documents, instead requiring only an affidavit signed under penalty of perjury attesting that the request to change gender on the certificates is to conform with the person's true gender identity. The law goes on to recognize that nonbinary gender identities have been recognized by cultures throughout history and around the world and goes on to list examples. The law will become effective on September 1, 2018. Review the text of the bill.
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