Republican lawmakers say they want to establish a process for having a person’s gender changed on their license or other credential.
Indiana BMV image.
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana lawmakers are moving to make it harder for a third gender option besides “M” or “F” to be printed on a driver’s license.
The Indiana BMV announced earlier this month it would allow drivers to put their gender as an “X”, instead of male or female. In adding the third option, the agency said it was following credential standards recommended by the American Academy of Motor Vehicle Administrators.
But a new legislative proposal would make it more difficult for a person to change their gender on a driver’s license or other credential. It would only allow the Indian BMV to change a person’s gender identity on a license if they present a certified, amended birth certificate.
The House Roads and Transportation Committee voted 10-3 Wednesday to revise Senate Bill 324, a bill dealing with driver’s licenses on a mobile app, to include the gender change-restricting language. The vote among the Republican-controlled committee was along party lines, with southeastern Indiana State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) voting with the majority.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana decried GOP legislators’ attempt to rollback the non-binary driver’s license option. Katie Blair, the ACLU’s director of advocacy and public policy, called the move “spiteful interference.”
“Indiana legislators have had multiple opportunities in the last few years to be ahead of the curve rather than trailing several years behind when it comes to LGBTQ rights. Unfortunately, their latest retrograde attempt is to mandate a definition of gender that would have major, long-term implications for the transgender community,” Blair said in a statement.
“The Indiana BMV took our state in the right direction when it added a non-binary gender option to drivers’ licenses and identification cards. Accurate identification is necessary in many areas of everyday life, including to begin a new job, enroll in school, travel on airplanes, and open a bank account, among many other basic life activities. And yet, elected officials want to force gender non-binary people to carry identification that does not accurately identify them.”
The chairwoman of the House Roads and Transportation Committee, State Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville), said the amended bill would not prohibit people from changing the gender on their license.
“They still have the process to do that. It does take the BMV out of the picture of making any medical sort of decisions,” Sullivan said.
Indiana BMV Now Allows “X” As Gender On Licenses