The U.S. Department of State is preparing to allow passport applicants to select their own “gender marker” so that those who don’t identify with their biological sex can select their preferred option.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, “The Department of State is committed to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons… I am pleased to announce that the Department will be taking further steps toward ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex.”

“Most immediately, we will be updating our procedures to allow applicants to self-select their gender as ‘M’ or ‘F.’”

Additionally, the State Department 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.”

“The Department has begun moving towards adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a passport …  The process … is technologically complex and will take time for extensive systems updates.”

The State Department noted that it is not able to produce an “exact timeline” for when people will begin to be able to select non-binary, intersex and gender non-conforming gender markers. Until the requisite updates are made, applicants will be unable to apply for a passport with one of the new markers.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken touted the move as “important” to “ensuring the fair treatment of LGBTQI+ U.S. citizens.”

However, J.D. Vance, author of the bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy, tweeted sarcastically about how it was “good to see” the administration “focused on solving totally real and super serious problems.”

“Sir, I know we have an explosion of deadly drugs pouring in across the southern border, but let’s focus on more serious problems, like gender identity on US passports,” he wrote.

The move by the State Department raises a couple questions:

  1. If persons can choose a gender marker contrary to their biological sex, then why is it important for individuals to choose a marker at all?
  2. If medical certification of an applicant’s selected gender (contrary to their biological gender) is no longer necessary, why was it needed in the first place?

If you know someone struggling over their gender identity, Focus on the Family provides free resources to help. Click here to find out more.

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