Oregon Court of Appeals Rules ‘Non-Binary’ Is A Legal Gender Marker Option

“This decision ensures that all transgender, gender-diverse, and gender non-conforming Oregonians — including those who identify as nonbinary — can obtain documentation that accurately reflects their gender identity.”

Due to a court appeals court ruling from the Oregon Court of Appeals, non-binary people are now able to change the gender markers on their birth certificates to better represent their gender.

In 2017, the state began allowing citizens to choose a third gender on official documents: X. The options F, M, and X were offered more as an administrative change, though, rather than being accurately reflective of a person’s gender.

This new decision comes after the state’s Court of Appeals overturned a 2019 decision that stopped people from legally changing their gender to non-binary. The ruling was in favor of Eugene, OR resident Jones Hollister, who had been petitioning for the change in ruling since 2017.

“I am thrilled,” Hollister told Oregon Public Broadcasting. “To have a ruling and to have a really affirming statement by the court, I’m speechless. I can barely talk because I keep crying every time I think about it. I’m just so excited.”

The new ruling notes that a circuit court judge has the “authority to grant the requested change of legal sex” and that the choices are not limited to female or male. “Rather,” states the court’s ruling, “the new sex designation must affirm the petitioner’s gender identity whether that is male, female, or nonbinary.”

A number of human rights organizations, including the ACLU of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Justice, filed in support of Hollister during the case.

“This decision ensures that all transgender, gender-diverse, and gender non-conforming Oregonians — including those who identify as nonbinary — can obtain documentation that accurately reflects their gender identity,” Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum of the ACLU of Oregon said in a statement to OPB.

According to the radio station, Hollister celebrated the victory by having cake with their spouse, and they expect to receive the paperwork from the court in the next few weeks — complete with their correct gender identification.


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