Is Gender “X” Coming to California Driver’s Licenses?

If a bill currently winding its way through the California state legislature becomes law, the Golden State could soon recognize a third gender on its official IDs.

SB179 has already passed the state senate and would allow for an option – likely “X” – to be added to the traditional male/female choices on driver’s licenses and other official identification documents. If it becomes law, California will be the second state after Oregon to implement the progressive option, which is being heralded as a major step forward by transgender advocates.

While some activists insist that the third gender option has little to do with transgender politics and is only necessary because of those born “intersex,” several transgender organizations were front and center in the crafting of the bill. And even those activists who distance themselves from the political movement have to acknowledge that a bill like this would never have passed without the spotlight of LGBT advocacy.

In introducing the bill this spring, in fact, Sen. Tori Atkins invoked the transgender cause to win support for her effort.

“Our society is becoming more enlightened every day about gender identity,” said Atkins at the time. “It’s time for our state to make it easier for transgender Californians and those who don’t conform to traditional notions of gender to have state-issued identification documents that reflect who they truly are. This bill will help them avoid the discrimination and harassment that too many of these residents face in their daily lives.”

Not everyone is on board with the bill, of course. The California Family Council, a Christian advocacy group, says it will open the door for a host of issues that Democrats would rather not discuss.

“If you allow someone who is physically male to list themselves on a government document as a female, or vice a versa, then the government will be legalizing a lie,” said CFC spokesperson Greg Burt when testifying against the bill. “As state senators, I know you think you are powerful, but you do not have the authority to simply change the meaning of words just because you want to.”

While many proponents of the bill are trying to pretend that this is a grand step forward into a progressive future where everyone can be who they truly are, there comes a point where we have to stop and acknowledge some basic societal principles. If we can’t even agree that there are two basic sexes that should be delineated as such on a driver’s license, where does it end? What is the point of official documentation at all, if we can just change everything about ourselves from day to day? What if we “feel” like a tall person inside, but our ID says we’re only 5’5″? What if we “feel” black today, but our ID callously insists that we’re white? Point being, our official government documents should be based on fact and reason, not the latest political trend of the day.

Alas, it’s California.

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