Americans may no longer have the ability to choose an “unspecified” gender option on their passports if one bill becomes law.
On Wednesday, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) introduced the Passport Sanity Act.
A copy of the bill, obtained by the Washington Examiner, shows the legislation would prevent the State Department from using the “X” gender marker on passports.
Instead, it would have to use only “male” or female” designations.
The Examiner noted, “It’s not clear whether passports that have already been issued with the ‘X’ marker will still be accepted, but the legislation would block the State Department from producing more.”
Roy said, “There are two sexes — male and female — and government documents like passports should reflect that self-evident truth.”
“Passports exist to accurately identify people, not play pretend with radical gender ideology. Anti-science, radical gender ideology has no place in our government, and it’s time for Congress to step in and restore sanity,” he added.
In April 2022, the State Department added the “X” marker to passports after a nonbinary citizen filed a lawsuit alleging it was not possible to get a passport that reflected that person’s gender identity.
A State Department spokesperson said in a statement about the change, “We continue to work closely with our federal government partners to ensure as smooth a travel experience as possible for all passport holders, regardless of their gender identity.”
“We reaffirm our commitment to promoting and protecting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all persons – including transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming persons around the world,” the statement added.
NPR explained the “X” option is “officially defined as ‘unspecified or another gender identity.'”
It added the State Department was the first federal agency to use the marking on identification documents.
“The State Department said it arrived at the definition after seeking public feedback, consulting with partner countries and conducting research with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics that involved interviews with members of the LGBTQI+ community,” the outlet explained.
Additionally, under the new policy, the State Department will use whatever gender someone chooses regardless of if their gender is marked differently on supporting documents.
The “X” marker was slated to become available for other State Department documents this year.