Judge rules State can’t deny passport to person who won’t select male or female as gender
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A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that the State Department cannot deny a passport to a person who declines to select either "male" or "female" as their gender in their passport application. 

U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled in favor of Dana Zzyym, who sued in 2015 when the State Department declined their request to use "X" as a gender marker on a passport application, according to The Denver Post.


Zzyym identifies as intersex and uses "they/them" pronouns. 

"Adherence to a series of internal policies that do not contemplate the existence of intersex people is not good reason” to deny someone's passport application, Jackson wrote. 

The ruling only applies to Zzyym but Lambda Legal senior attorney Paul Castillo told the Post that it is a "groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind ruling" in favor of rights for those who identify outside of the gender binary.

The State Department denied Zzyym's passport applications in 2015 and again in 2017, even after a judge in 2016 ruled the agency should reconsider the first denial. 

“I’m not going to lie on my passport application, I shouldn’t have to, and the judge here, twice, has agreed with me,” Zzyym said in a statement, according to the Post.

Zzym's attorneys called on the State Department to immediately issue a passport. 

The U.N. agency that deals with international travel documents has stated gender should be marked on passports as male, female or “X for unspecified," the Post reported.

The State Department recently alarmed transgender rights advocates when it took down a page on its website called "Gender Designation Change," replacing it with a page called "Change of Sex Marker." The new page includes a line that reads "the sex marker may not match the gender in which you identify."

The agency in a statement said the language change was an attempt to "eliminate confusion" but "there has been no change in policy or in the way we adjudicate passports for transgender applicants."