FACTS

    The U.S. government could soon implement changes which would include a new option for gender on official documents such as passports, social security cards, and drivers licenses. The move has already been made by over a dozen states and Washington D.C. However, if Biden does sign such an executive order, it will not automatically require other states to follow suit. Currently, the options available are “male” and “female,” and choosing an option other than the gender listed on your birth certificate is only possible for those who have medical certification proving that they have undergone a sex reassignment operation. The new proposal would include an “X” gender option available for anyone who identifies as transgender or nonbinary.

    RIGHT

    The Right largely opposes the move. One study showed that 80% of Republicans believed “a man or a woman is determined by the sex they were assigned at birth,” and 57% say that “society has gone too far” with transgender issues. Professor Graham Hillard, editor of the Cumberland River Review, noted that while the desire to exemplify love by “referring to one’s neighbor as he wishes” may seem noble, it is actually “shortsighted.” Hillard writes that to give “further capitulation where language is concerned can only give aid and comfort to a movement whose success is inevitably attended by the sexualization of children, the sanctioning of brutality, and the dramatic curtailment of freedom of speech and thought.”

    “To be sure, conservatives will pay a price for their stubbornness. A transgender movement that holds public opinion in its grasp may well increase the legal pressure on nonconformists should that grip begin to loosen…What is at stake, however, is the irreplaceable right to say of one thing, ‘true,’ and of another, ‘false’ — to define the basic realities from which our politics proceed. A man is a man. A woman is a woman. Let us not pretend otherwise.”

    Graham Hillard, Associate Professor at Trevecca Nazarene University

    LEFT

    Many on the left support the move and praise Biden for his promises to advance LGBTQ+ rights. Arli Christian, a campaign strategist at American Civil Liberties Union, a progressive organization at the forefront of this fight, stated, “We want to make sure that there’s a consistent, streamlined, and practical modernization in gender markers.” “No person should have to lie about who they are in order to obtain an accurate identity and travel document,” argued Paul Castillo, an attorney who works for LGBTQ+ rights organization Lambda Legal. Toby Adams, executive director of the Intersex & Genderqueer Recognition Project, stated, “It’s really damaging legally and psychologically to have your gender identity misidentified.”

    “If the government is going to be in the business of declaring and labeling our gender, it should at least reflect today’s science and allow everyone to answer truthfully.”

    Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality

    However, some argue that gender markers are unnecessary and should be done away with altogether.

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