The U.S. State Department said Thursday it will add a third gender to passports for Americans who identify as “non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming,” although the department added it will take time to implement.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the announcement in a statement, saying the change is part of the Biden administration’s commitment “to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons.”
“We will be updating our procedures to allow applicants to self-select their gender as ‘M’ or ‘F’ and will no longer require medical certification if an applicant’s self-selected gender does not match the gender on their other citizenship or identity documents,” Blinken said.
The State Department, Blinken said, has 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).
“We are evaluating the best approach to achieve this goal,” Blinken said.
Evangelist Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, criticized the move and urged Christians to pray for the nation, saying it needs divine intervention
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.— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) July 2, 2021
Blinken said the State Department is taking the steps to add a third gender “after considerable consultation with like-minded governments who have undertaken similar changes.”
“We also value our continued engagement with the LGBTQI+ community, which will inform our approach and positions moving forward,” Blinken said.
The State Department, he said, will “be working closely with its interagency partners to ensure as smooth a travel experience as possible for the passport holder.”
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.