SB 179 goes into effect January 1, 2019

SB-179 goes into effect on January 1, 2019

California State will Legally Recognize “non binary” as a third gender option


The Gender Identity bill (SB-179) was signed by Governor Jerry Brown and will go into effect in 2019.For the first time in state history, California will legally recognize a third gender option for residents who do not identify as male or female.

The bill will make it easier for people to change gender on state identification and birth certificates, while establishing a “nonbinary” designation.

The law defines nonbinary as an “umbrella term for people with gender identities that fall somewhere outside of the traditional conceptions of strictly either female or male,” including but not limited to some transgender individuals and those born with intersex traits.

Under the bill, the state registrar is required to issue a new birth certificate to California natives to reflect a gender change if someone applies and submits an affidavit attesting that the request is not for any fraudulent purpose. The measure, Senate Bill 179, also calls for the Department of Motor Vehicles to allow applicants for a driver’s license or identification card to choose a gender category of M, F, or X.

Jody Herman, an expert on gender identity law and policy for the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, said Oregon, Washington, D.C., Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Thailand and parts of Canada already offer some form of legal recognition of a third nonconforming gender.

Thirty-one percent of the 27,700 participants in a  2015 U.S. Transgender Survey  identified as nonbinary. The report found that nearly one-third of all participants had negative experiences when showing an ID with a name or gender that did not match the gender they physically present. One-quarter said they were verbally harassed. Roughly 16 percent said they were denied services or benefits and 9 percent were asked to leave. Two percent reported that they were assaulted or attacked.