California is set to be the third US state to consider including a third gender option for people who do not identify as either Male Or Female. According to reports by the San Francisco Gate, the legislation has been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for consent and if passed, will include a nonbinary option in addition to male and female options.

The bill was passed by the state Senate on Thursday, with a 26-12 vote in favor of the third option. The bill (SB79), or Gender Recognition Act, will come into effect in 2019 if passed, and will also allow parents with transgender children to change the gender listed on their birth certificates.

In the past, parents had to obtain a physician's sworn testimony to change their child's gender, a hurdle that the SB79 bill will eradicate if passed into law.

Awkward situations

According to state senator Toni Atkins, when showing one's ID or passport, if a persons gender matches what is indicated in the identification document, then it is not a stressful matter. But if the two do not match, then it becomes stressful and may lead to harassment.

Assembly member Todd Gloria said the bill will put an end to stigma and hardships that California residents face when it comes to acquiring government documents.

So far, Governor Brown, who is Democrat, has not stated publicly if he will sign the bill.


This past summer, Oregon became the first US state to include a third gender on driver's license applications, ID's and learners permits. This allows applicants to mark their gender as 'not specified'.

When a resident selects the new gender option, an 'X' appears on documents, instead of the conventional; 'M' or 'F'. The change came about after a ruling in which a Multnomah County Judge allowed Jamie Shupa, who is a Portland resident, to change to a nonbinary gender legally, in 2016.


The first country on the continent to allow for a third gender option in government documents was Canada and just last month, Citizens were allowed to mark 'X' signifying an unspecified gender designation. This option is now available in all government-issued documents.

According to the NY Times, other countries that have also embraced the third gender option include- Germany, New Zealand, Pakistan, Australia, Nepal, India, Malta, and Bangladesh.

Last minute rush

The SB79 was one of many bills that the California state senate approved and forwarded to the Governor's office. Since Friday is the last day of the Senate's legislative session, a bill that will ensure affordable housing is also on the cards before the sessions come to an end.