WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of State says it's making changes to its gender policies regarding passports in an effort to ensure members of the LGBTQ+ community are fairly treated.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday that the department is immediately updating its procedures to allow applicants to self-select their gender as “M” or “F,” and it will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender doesn’t match the gender on their other citizenship of identity documents.
Blinken says the department has also begun the process of adding a third gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming people who are applying for a passport or consular reports of birth abroad (CRBA).
“We are evaluating the best approach to achieve this goal,” wrote Blinken. “The process of adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons to these documents is technologically complex and will take time for extensive systems updates.”
Blinken says officials will also be working closely with their interagency partners to make sure these passport holders have as smooth of a travel experience as possible.
“In line with the administration’s commitment to re-engage with allies and partners, the Department is taking these steps after considerable consultation with like-minded governments who have undertaken similar changes,” wrote Blinken. “We also value our continued engagement with the LGBTQI+ community, which will inform our approach and positions moving forward. With this action, I express our enduring commitment to the LGBTQI+ community today and moving forward.”