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Maryland Senate OKs new "X" gender designation for state driver's licenses

Maryland Senate OKs new "X" gender designation for state driver's licenses
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration on June 20, 2016, in Glen Burnie. (Amy Davis / The Baltimore Sun)

Maryland's senators approved a bill Friday that would add a gender designation of "X" on driver’s licenses and state identification cards.

The 32-14 vote came without any debate, and the measure moved to the House of Delegates for consideration.

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The change is intended to be inclusive of individuals who are “nonbinary,” meaning they don’t identify as either male or female.

Driver’s licenses would continue to have designations for a person’s sex — “M” for male and “F” for female — while adding the designation of “X” for “unspecified or other.”

Representatives from LGBTQ advocacy organizations support the change in hopes of removing hurdles for people in the transgender community.

Five states and the District of Columbia have a designation for unspecified gender on licenses and ID cards. Eleven countries have nonbinary or gender-neutral designations on their passports, which are accepted by U.S. authorities.

While Maryland’s senators did not discuss the bill as they took their final vote, they debated the measure earlier in the week. Some senators expressed reservations about allowing an individual to make a choice of gender for an ID without providing documentation.

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