Major Decision Made by Arkansas State Regulators

Photo by takahiro taguchi on Unsplash

( – Arkansas state regulators announced that drivers would no longer be given the option of having their gender stated as “X” on their driver’s licenses. 

On Tuesday, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration announced the change which would no longer allow for accommodations to the nonbinary community. They further pointed out that the changes were necessary in order to protect state IDs. As part of the changes, it would also become significantly harder for transgender people to get their gender changed on their ID. 

In celebration of the announcement, Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that the ID policy change made sense and that only women were able to give birth. She added that men should not be allowed to participate in women’s sports and that there were only two genders. As she pointed out, as long as she was the state governor this type of “nonsense” was not going to be endorsed. 

Republican state governments have maintained that keeping the legal mandate of gender as binary was in alignment with academic understanding of biology and gender. However, critics of this stance have argued that this was not recognizing the existence of nonbinary and transgender people. The change has also brought concerns about intersex people, who are people who have sex traits from either neither or both genders. 

Currently, nonbinary driver gender labels exist in 22 states as well as the District of Columbia. This includes these labels being added to federal IDs and passports. 

On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas spoke up against these changes arguing that they threatened “the safety and dignity” of nonbinary, transgender, and intersex individuals in the state.

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