The Biden State Department said Wednesday it has issued America’s first-ever passport with an “X” gender marker identifying the person as non-binary or intersex instead of the typical “M” and “F” to signify male or female.
The groundbreaking passport, said State Department spokesman Ned Price, is a way to “better serve all U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender identity.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken had announced in July that such a passport would be issued.
The State Department did not release the person’s name.
“The Department has issued the first U.S. passport with an X gender marker,” Price said. “We look forward to offering this option to all routine passport applicants once we complete the required system and form updates in early 2022. … I want to reiterate, on the occasion of this passport issuance, the Department of State’s commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons.”
Blinken, in July, said the State Department had begun moving toward “adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a passport” or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA).
“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,” Blinken said this summer. “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.”
Evangelist Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, this summer criticized the move and urged Christians to pray for the nation.
“It is so disappointing that our government would fall for this kind of absurdity,” Graham wrote. “... This administration seems to have declared war on common sense, & they want everyone to go along w/a lie. This is another reminder of the desperate need for Christians to PRAY for our nation & all those in leadership – whether we agree with them or not. We need God’s mercy & help.”
Photo courtesy: Levi Ventura/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.