Media Contact

Ariella Sult, ACLU of Indiana, asult@aclu-in.org, 317-759-6425

March 19, 2019

Additional Language in SB 324 Would Define Gender as “Male and Female”

INDIANAPOLIS – Just weeks after news broke that the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has begun issuing drivers’ licenses and identification cards with a non-binary option, Indiana legislators are attempting to add language to Senate Bill 324 that defines gender as “male or female.” This would stop the BMV from allowing people to obtain identification that correctly reflects their gender identity, specifically those who identify as neither exclusively male nor exclusively female. The current BMV policy designates the non-binary gender option with an "X," rather than the "M" for male and "F" for female.

ACLU of Indiana Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, Katie Blair issued this statement:

“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.

“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.

“For people who are non-binary, identification that fails to affirm who they are can trigger the distress of gender dysphoria and contribute to widespread discrimination. Providing affirming and accurate identification is critical to reducing such discrimination.

“The ACLU is urging Indiana elected officials to stop their spiteful interference with the current BMV policy and to allow the current inclusion of accurate gender markers on drivers’ licenses.”

 

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