Norton Introduces Bill to Remove Gender Designation Requirement from REAL ID Act for LGBTQ History Month

Oct 12, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, during LGBTQ History Month, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced a bill to remove the requirement from the REAL ID Act that compliant licenses include a gender designation. The bill instead would leave the decision to the states, and, if a state chooses to require a gender designation, a person would be able to change the designation by self-attestation.

“This is an important bill for equality, especially for transgender Americans,” Norton said. “Under the REAL ID Act, gender must be included on a license. This can be problematic for transgender or nonbinary individuals. I recognize that some LGBTQ individuals do not want gender designations on licenses at all, while others do want gender designations so as to express their identity. I believe this bill strikes the middle ground, while showing Congress’ support for LGBTQ individuals.”

Norton’s introductory statement follows.

 

 

 

Statement of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton on

the Introduction of the REAL ID Gender Requirement Reform Act

 

October 12, 2021

 

Today, I introduce the REAL ID Gender Requirement Reform Act, which would remove the requirement from the REAL ID Act that REAL ID-compliant licenses include gender. Instead, the decision whether to have gender on a state’s REAL-ID compliant would be left to the states. The bill would also require that if a state requires gender designation for licenses, an individual wishing to change their gender designation on their license be allowed to do so through self-attestation. It would also require states to have a neutral or other designation gender field, in addition to male or female. This is an important bill for equality, especially for transgender Americans.

Under the REAL ID Act, gender must be included on a license. This can be problematic for transgender or nonbinary individuals. I recognize that some LGBTQ individuals do not want gender designations on licenses at all, while others do want gender designation so as to express their identity. I believe this bill strikes the middle ground, while showing Congress’ support for LGBTQ individuals.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

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