OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Health is asking for public commentary on a proposal that would add a third, gender-neutral option for sex designation on birth certificates.
The hearing is Tuesday from 1 to 5 p.m. in Tumwater. People will also be able to livestream the hearing by clicking on "view public hearing" at this link here.
The proposed rule includes changes to the requirements for individuals to request a change to the sex designation on their birth certificate. It also removes the requirement for medical verification for adults making a request, which would expand the number of providers who can verify the gender change for minors, WSDOH said in a release.
Washington residents can submit their written comments here.
Chris Plante with Family Policy Institute of Washington says adding the gender-neutral option to birth certificates would threaten the integrity of state records.
"There is a biological reality here of male or female, and that is what our official records ought to indicate," said Plante.
Seth Kirby is the Executive Director at Oasis Youth Center in Tacoma. He says it is a safe place for queer youth to connect and thrive.
Kirby says the diversity of gender identities should be recognized.
"I think there is a way it can be done that is smooth and respectful, and further acknowledges who people are," said Kirby.
USA Today reports Oregon began offering the gender-neutral “X” option earlier this year, as did the District of Columbia. California will begin to do the same in the coming year.