State Dept. Steps Back on Gender-Neutral Parentage

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ordered that passport applications for youth under 16 refer to guardians as either “parents” or “mother” and “father”

In a bid to forestall a backlash from congressional conservatives, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has ordered the State Department to amend a bureaucratic change that would have replaced the titles “mother” and “father” with the gender-neutral term “parent” in first-time passport applications for youth under 16 and in reports of overseas births.

The State Department said Saturday that Clinton had instructed the department to retain “mother” and “father” in a form known as a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad” that U.S. embassies use to document the birth of a child to expatriate Americans. It said the form will now ask for the names of the child’s “mother or parent 1” and “father or parent 2.”

LGBT equality advocates still widely view the move as a victory and a much-needed acknowledgment of the evolving dynamics of American families.


What Do You Think?