Hawaii adds nonbinary gender option to driver's licenses

Hawaii adds nonbinary gender option to driver's licenses
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Hawaii will start offering driver’s licenses and state-issued IDs with a nonbinary gender option for people who don’t identify as male or female.

Gov. David Ige (D) signed a bill into law on Wednesday that allows individuals, such as those who identify as nonbinary or transgender, to select the “X” gender option on application forms for IDs or licenses, according to the bill.

The “X” option will appear on the forms starting on July 1, 2020.

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Those who pick this third option won’t be required to prove their gender with supporting documents, the bill states.

Hawaii has one of the nation’s highest populations of adults who identify as LGBT, according to the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA Law.

Hawaii follows in the footsteps of several other states, including Maine and Colorado, in adding a nonbinary gender option for state-issued IDs and driver’s licenses.

Seventeen jurisdictions currently have a nonbinary option on some form of ID, according to the Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project.

Ige signed two other LGBTQ-related bills on Wednesday, including one that bars defendants from citing the “panic defense” — in which a defendant says finding out the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity caused them emotional distress — in court cases.

Another law signed by Ige clarifies that it is illegal to use conversion therapy treatments on minors in the state.

The bills “really demonstrate Hawaii’s commitment to ensuring that everyone in our community can be and will be treated fairly," Ige said Wednesday.