The State Department announced on Wednesday that it will allow passport applicants to choose any sex they prefer, even without medical documentation and if the gender selected does not match an individual's other forms of identification.
"U.S. passport applicants will now be able to select the gender they would like printed on their U.S. passports, even if the gender they select does not match the gender on their supporting documentation such as a birth certificate, previous passport, or state ID," the State Department informed Congress on Tuesday night, before publicly announcing the policy change Wednesday. "The Department of State will no longer require medical certification to change the gender marker on U.S. passports."
The State Department says it is now in the process of updating its computer systems to allow Americans to have their passports include a gender marker "for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons," according to the congressional notification.
The policy shift follows a massive pressure campaign by progressive activists who are seeking wholesale changes to how the American government identifies individuals on their state and federal IDs. The decision is facing pushback from some in Congress who say the State Department is already overwhelmed by a backlog of passport requests that have been held up since the coronavirus pandemic shut down global travel.