Should Ohio adopt gender neutral options on state IDs?

Jan 29, 2018
  • By Keisha Rowe
  • Staff Writer
Vermont has joined other U.S. states by proposing inclusion of a gender neutral option on state driver’s licenses. Should Ohio offer the option as well? Staff photo

The state of Vermont has become the latest state to propose adopting a gender neutral option on state identification documents.

The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles will implement a new system that allows for a third “X” option to be put on driver’s licenses for people who don’t identify as either male or female. The change comes after the department asked the state’s Law Enforcement Advisory Board whether or not it would impact the work of police officers in the state to do so.

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Ohio doesn’t offer a similar option on its official documents. A representative from the Ohio Department of Public Safety said in an e-mail there are no plans to present a measure to make the option available on driver’s licenses at this time.

Other states in the U.S. have also adopted the use of gender neutral documentation. Oregon became the first state in nation to allow individuals to use the gender neutral “X” option on driver’s licenses and birth certificates in June 2017. California, Washington state and the District of Columbia have since followed suit, allowing the option to be used on either birth certificates or driver’s licences.

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Supporters of the move have been celebrated it in the states that have adopted the change, praising it as being inclusive to more members of the LGBT community and providing more recognition for the non-binary segment of the population.

Opponents of the measure have criticized the changes as going too far, with some comments received during Oregon’s public commentary period on the rule change calling it “political correctness gone haywire.”

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