Yesterday, a coalition of over 80 civil and human rights organizations sent a letter to President Biden urging him to issue an executive order during Pride Month that would ensure transgender, non-binary, and intersex people can obtain accurate identification records.
“We are pushing President Biden to issue this executive order during LGBTQ Pride Month — a time where queer and trans voices should be celebrated and recognized,” said LaLa Zannell, Trans Justice Campaign Manager at the American Civil Liberties Union. “Everyone, including transgender, non-binary, and intersex people, needs access to accurate IDs to apply for jobs, enter the U.S., seek asylum, enter public spaces, or safely travel.”
The letter comes just a week after House and Senate leadership released a Dear Colleague letter urging President Biden to follow through on his campaign pledge to ensure all transgender individuals have access to accurate identification documents. Led by Rep. Ro Khanna and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Tammy Baldwin, the letter amplifies the call for executive action on this issue.
“No one should have to lie about who they are on a federal document,” said Rep. Khanna. “I am hopeful that President Biden is receptive and opts to make this important change without further Congressional action.”
Both letters urge the President to issue an executive order that would require all federal agencies to allow for self-attestation of gender designations as well as add an undesignated or neutral X option. Currently, individuals must provide federal agencies with medical letters to change the gender marker on their IDs and records, creating a financially, mentally, and physically burdensome process. Many cannot meet these requirements. Instead, transgender, non-binary, and intersex people are forced to carry IDs that do not reflect who they are, resulting in discrimination and abuse.
In January, the ACLU launched They The People, a campaign urging the President to take action to improve access to accurate IDs.
“We’ve shared stories of people across the country who need accurate IDs, delivered nearly 70,000 signatures to the White House asking for this executive order, and held a Trans & Non-binary Town Hall with the White House LGBT liaison to discuss solutions,” says Arli Christian, campaign strategist at the ACLU.
“We are excited to see so many organizations and leaders add their voices to this campaign and are hopeful the White House will take action during Pride month to improve the everyday lives of trans, intersex, and non-binary people. This will send an important message to trans people who have been under attack by state lawmakers this year that the federal government sees us, acknowledges us, and has our back.”