Hawaii residents will be able to choose a non-binary gender designation for their driver’s license starting July 2020.
Gov. David Ige signed House Bill 1165 HD2 SD2 into law today, which will provide a third option in addition to the “M” for male and “F” for female genders — an “X” for a non-binary designation.
The bill, now Act 148, will make Hawaii the 18th jurisdiction in the country to provide a non-binary gender option on their driver’s license, according to the Intersex & Genderqueer Recognition Project.
The new legislation will also allow applicants to choose or change their gender when applying for a driver’s license without requiring documentation as proof.
The bill was among three that Ige signed today concerning the LGBTQ community in Hawaii, the others being House Bills 711 HD1 SD1 and 664 HD2 SD1.
“As we all know, people have gender identities that may not neatly fit into the traditional stereotypes that we have, and we are sending a strong message today that no matter what your gender identity might be, you are welcome, and you have an equal place in our society,” said state Sen. Stanley Chang, who introduced Senate Bill 2, the companion bill to HB 711.
HB 711 HD1 SD1 takes effect immediately and dismisses the use of the “gay panic” defense in court, in which a defendant in a murder case can reduce their offense to manslaughter by claiming extreme emotional or mental distress caused by knowing the victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation.
HB 664 HD2 SD1, which will take effect on July 1, will clarify that already-established laws prohibiting efforts to change sexual orientation will include conversion therapy or treatments to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.