There’s at least one presidential hopeful that wants to see the world be more easily navigable for people outside the gender binary.
During an event at Keene State College in New Hampshire, Sen. Kamala Harris, who announced her presidential campaign in January on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, said, “Sure,” when asked whether she’d support placing a third gender option on federal identification cards and documents.
Harris also went on to criticize the current administration’s efforts to ban transgender people from serving in the military. “These are people who have decided they are willing to sacrifice and serve for the sake of our democracy and freedom, and you’re going to kick them out of the military?” she said.
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is the only other Democratic presidential hopeful who has publicly declared her support for a third option on federal IDs. Gillibrand took the stance in February, also while speaking at an event in New Hampshire. (More candidates go to New Hampshire, please!)
New Jersey added a third gender option to its birth certificates in January, while Oregon added a third option for driver’s licenses in 2017. While New Jersey and Oregon have made statewide steps to recognize nonbinary citizens, New York and Washington, D.C. have done the same in their cities. In the past year, New York City has added a third gender option to both its city-issued IDs and birth certificates. Washington, D.C. has added the same option for public school student IDs.
Kamala Harris has a record of pro-LGBTQ+ stances, including declining to defend California’s ban on same-sex marriage in court as the state’s attorney general, co-sponsoring a bill in the California legislature to end the “gay panic” defense and advocating that transgender people be allowed to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity. However, some advocates have criticized her for opposing gender-affirming surgeries for two California transgender inmates. Harris has since said she takes “full responsibility” for writing briefs in opposition to the surgeries and said she privately disagreed with the stance.