Oregon Becomes The First State To Issue Non-Binary Drivers Licenses

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Jamie Shupe expects to stand out front of an Oregon DMV early next month and cry. According to Basic Rights Oregon, even the United Nations already uses a non-binary gender marker, X.

LGBT rights organizations hailed Thursday's move.

In 2016, non-binary people won a victory in OR when Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Amy Holmes Hehn legally changed Jamie Shupe's gender.

As Sam Levin of the Guardian notes, instituting a third option on state IDs may prevent people from facing questioning and discrimination because their legal documents do not match their gender presentation.

"For the first time that we know, a court ordered a name change to something other than male or female, and at the time we couldn't do that, so we went to study our statutes and checked to see whether we could do it by a rule change or if it (had) to go through legislation", said David House, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

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According to the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, an estimated 20,000 Oregonians identify as transgender - about 0.65 percent of the state's overall population, making it the state with the seventh-highest trans population in the country.

The June 2016 landmark decision allowed Jamie Shupe to change her gender to non-binary, which refers to gender identities that do not fall into the binary categories of male and female. "This was always the right thing to do all along", he added. "There are daily interactions such as checking out at a grocery store, checking in at a doctor's appointment - and an incorrect gender marker means the potential to be misgendered and have painful and very uncomfortable experiences at all of those stages", Oregon resident J. Gibbons, who identifies as nonbinary, told Oregon Public Broadcasting. The California Family Council, a conservative Christian group, opposes it, arguing that "government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification".

As part of the rule-making process, the department's Driver and Motor Vehicles division held public hearings, and comments were "overwhelmingly positive", said Tom McClellan, the division's administrator. "They found they could do that through the rule change".

'I've trembled with the fear of failure and cried tears until I had no more tears to cry, because of the magnitude of what's been at stake-and now won, ' Shupe tells NBC News.

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