Washington State May Allow ‘X’ Gender Designation On Birth Certificates
The state of Washington may soon follow Oregon and California and allow a third gender option on birth certificates. The proposal would let people change their gender from male or female to the non-binary designation of “X.”
Currently, people born in Washington can petition to change the gender on their birth certificate from male to female or female to male. But there isn’t an option to choose no gender.
That may soon change. Christie Spice with the Washington Department of Health said that’s because society is changing.
“And more people are identifying as a gender other than a male or female and there’s growing demand for non-binary sex designations on all identity documents, including birth certificates,” Spice said.
Under the proposed change, adults could request an “X” designation on their birth certificates. Children could also make the change with the consent of their parents and with a doctor’s note.
The Washington Department of Health will hold a public hearing Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Tumwater on this proposed rule change. Online comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Tuesday as well.
The Department of Health has already received about 1,000 written comments both in support and against the change. The new rule could go into effect early next year.
A new Oregon law allowing an “X” designation on birth certificates takes effect on January 1, 2018. In June, Oregon became the first state in the nation to allow a third gender option for driver licenses and state identification cards.
A spokeswoman for Washington’s Department of Licensing said the agency is in the early stages of considering whether it can offer a gender neutral designation on state ID cards.
Across the Northwest, thousands of people attended Women’s March events over the weekend. Marches happened in the region’s biggest cities and much smaller towns and college campuses. Continue Reading Northwest Cities See Big Women’s March Crowds As #MeToo Looms Large
The U.S. Forest Service gave an update on the conditions of Columbia River Gorge trails recently, indicating that some of the most damaged trails “may take several years to reopen.” Forest Service employees and volunteers have been working since the fall to assess damage from the Eagle Creek Fire to more than 20 miles of trails.
Uncertainty reigns about what federal public lands will be open if the congressional budget standoff leads to a partial government shutdown. Closed national parks and forest campgrounds were among the most visible effects the last time the federal government partially shut down in October 2013. Continue Reading How Will A Government Shutdown Affect Public Lands?