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California Becomes First State to Recognize a Third Gender


Official state-issued documentation will now list "non-binary" as an option. 

It's been a long, educational road bringing the topic of being gender non-binary to the forefront of sociopolitical discussions. Now, California has become the first state to use the social aspect of a gender spectrum and enact governmental change because of it. Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law officially recognizing a third gender as a legal option in the state.

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The new "non-binary" option will soon be available on state-issued identification documents like driver's licenses and birth certificates. The bill also makes it easier to process legal gender changes of any kind by removing previous requirements for a doctor's statement or to appear in person in court.

"I want to thank Gov. Brown for recognizing how difficult it can be for our transgender, nonbinary, and intersex family members, friends, and neighbors when they don't have an ID that matches their gender presentation," said Sen. Toni Atkins, a democrat from San Diego who co-authored the bill in a statement. "The Gender Recognition Act will eliminate unnecessary stress and anxiety for many Californians, and it exemplifies the leadership role that our state continues to take in LGBTQ civil rights."

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Dennis Hinzmann