Sunday, April 14, 2024

Arkansas stops allowing people to choose a non-specific gender option for their driver’s licenses and IDs

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The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration changed a rule on Tuesday about how people can say their gender on their driver’s license or ID. Before, people could choose their gender without any proof, or pick “X” if they didn’t want to choose male or female.

The ACLU of Arkansas said this change is bad for transgender, intersex, and non-binary people’s safety and dignity.

Now, the new rule says people must show their gender as “male” or “female,” like it says on their birth certificate. If someone already has an ID with an “X,” it will still work until they renew it. Then it will show their birth certificate gender.

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this change makes sense because she believes there are only two genders.

The DFA Secretary Jim Hudson said the old rule didn’t follow Arkansas law and wasn’t discussed with the public. They changed it to stop fraud and keep communities safe.

But LGBTQ groups criticized the change, saying it’s part of a plan to limit transgender and non-binary people’s rights.

The ACLU said this change doesn’t respect people’s true selves and is not safe for them.

The National Center for Transgender Equality said this change is part of a bad trend of targeting transgender people.

Having the right gender on IDs is important for daily life, like work and voting. When the government doesn’t respect people’s identity, it’s disrespectful and unsafe.

The DFA sent another rule to the Executive Subcommittee for review. It explains how they will decide someone’s gender.

Florida also made a similar law, stopping people from changing their gender on driver’s licenses. If someone lies about their gender, they could get in trouble.

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