Oregon Court Allows a Person to Choose Neither Sex

Jun 16, 2016

By Christopher Mele

A judge in Oregon has granted a petition allowing a person to legally choose neither sex and be classified as nonbinary: an important development for transgender Americans while civil rights and sexual identity are in the national spotlight, advocates and legal experts said.

Though the petition was granted with little fanfare in a two-paragraph decision on Friday, the experts said that, to their knowledge, the ruling was the first of its kind in the country.

Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center in Oakland, Calif., described the decision in an email as a “historic step” toward the government’s recognizing “nonbinary members of our community and ensuring they have access to identity documents that reflect who they are, just like everyone else.”

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2 comments on “Oregon Court Allows a Person to Choose Neither Sex

  • While other progressive thinking has been in places in like Oregon for some time, it is good to see it spreading north of the Canadian border.


    Canada’s parliament has passed a contentious bill to allow medically-assisted death for terminally ill people.

    The law was put forward after the Supreme Court struck down a ban on doctors helping the incurably sick to die.

    The move makes Canada one of the few countries where doctors can legally help sick people die.

    But critics say the new legislation is too restrictive.

    They argue it will prevent people with degenerative conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, from seeking assisted suicide.

    Government officials say the new law is a first step and can be expanded in the future.

    The legislation had already passed by the House of Commons and Friday’s Senate vote means it now only needs the formality of royal assent from the governor-general to become law.

    Some senators were in favour of a much broader law but after weeks of political wrangling they gave in to pressure by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, which had narrowed the scope of the bill.

    In a statement, Canada’s Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Health Minister Jane Philpott said the bill struck “the right balance between personal autonomy for those seeking access to medically assisted dying and protecting the vulnerable”.

    Assisted suicide is currently legal in just a few countries, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, Albania, Colombia and Japan.

    The practice is legal in the US states of Washington, California, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and Montana.

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