By Christina Thies
A bill proposing the addition of an “other” or third gender option to state-issued driver’s licenses was killed in Committee Three session at Youth and Government District Conference. Delegate Alex Watson, 9, authored and presented the bill in hopes that it would provide the idea of inclusiveness into this critical identification. The overall idea of this bill was to refrain from classifying based off of sex, and instead provide a gender non-conforming option.
The bill was defeated 6 to 5.
Watson stated the idea behind his bill came from his participation in the GSA club at his high school.
“Through many stories shared by many members who have struggled with the discomfort of choosing a set gender, [I was able to grasp] the idea that something needed to be done,” Watson said.
The opponents of the bill stated, “It would be more difficult for law enforcement and the judicial branch to identify individuals in the case of an accident”. Additional opposition cited possible increases in fraud as a reason this bill should not be passed. Some opponents expressed concern with the third gender creating unfair treatment, which could possibly alienate a group of people.
Watson argued it was a fundamental human right that people should be able to choose how they are perceived in society. Supporters of Watson said, “It should not be up to the government to choose how individuals are represented, but the individuals themself.”
Although the bill did not pass, Watson continues to advocate for non-conforming rights.