California just became the first state in the United States to recognize a third gender and the new law will take effect on September 1, 2018. The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed a bill on Sunday, October 15th, that recognizes a third gender known as nonbinary. There are many people who do not identify themselves as male or female, and this law is truly important for them.
The ‘nonbinary’ term is an umbrella term for people who describe themelves as transgender and other people who are not in the traditional concept of male and female individuals. This refers to all those who describe their genders as “agender, genderqueer, gender fluid, Two Spirit, bigender, pangender, gender nonconforming, or gender variant.”
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Gender Recognition Act, and this will make for an easier life on genderless people. What does this mean? These people will be able to change their gender on state identification cards and birth certificates, and to add a “nonbinary” option, as the Sacramento Bee reported.
The bill will also make it easier for residents to change their gender to male or female. They won’t have to have clinical treatment as proof. Additionally, this law is expanding the rights of California’s LGBT community.
People will now be able to put this neutral gender identification on their driver’s licenses and their birth certificates as well. Also, the bill eases the process of gender reassignment surgery. It basically means that these people will not have to obtain permission for a sex change, nor will they have to appear in court because of that.
The bill’s co-author, Toni Atkins, who is a Democrat from San Diego, also wrote about the bill. ‘I want to thank Gov. Brown for recognizing how difficult it can be for our transgender family members, friends, and neighbors when they don’t have an ID that matches their gender presentation.’
He continues. ‘The Gender Recognition Act will eliminate unnecessary stress for many Californians. It exemplifies the leadership role that our state continues to take in LGBTQ civil rights.’
After the bill was signed, many doctors, lawyers, and teacher groups gave their support. There were people who did not agree, of course. The religious organization California Family Council was the main opponent of this bill.
Activist Sara Kelly Keenan testified that this bill would dramatically improve many lives.
She actually became the first nonbinary citizen of California, and the second American with this recognition.
In an interview, she said that this decision was an ‘important moment in history.’
She added: ‘We as a society need to learn that biological sex and gender identification occur along a spectrum.’
Here is an interesting fact about how many businesses across the U.S have gender-neutral bathrooms.