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Rule would remove ‘X’ as a gender on Arkansas driver’s licenses

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(The Center Square) – Arkansas motorists can no longer use “X” to designate gender on their driver’s licenses, the Department of Finance and Administration announced Tuesday.

“This change announced today reflects a commonsense approach that ensures a license or ID issued by the State of Arkansas is based on objective, verifiable information,” said department Secretary Jim Hudson. “All of our stakeholders in law enforcement, other government agencies, caregivers, schools, and businesses depend on DFA-issued licenses and IDs to keep our communities safe and to prevent fraud. The discontinued policy is not supported by Arkansas law and was never subject to public comment and review by the Arkansas Legislative Council, as required by the Administrative Procedures Act.”

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the policy “common sense.”

“Only women give birth, men shouldn’t play women’s sports, and there are only two genders,” Sanders said in a statement. “As long as I’m governor, Arkansas state government will not endorse nonsense.”

Driver licenses that have “X” listed as gender are valid until they expire, according to Department of Finance and Administration.

“We are committed to implementing this new policy in a manner that is respectful towards all of our customers,” Hudson said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas issued a statement opposing the policy.

“This proposed policy seeks to erase the existence of nonbinary and intersex Arkansans by denying them identity documents that reflect their true selves, forcing them into categories that do not represent their identities,” the ACLU said in a statement provided to The Center Square. “The ability to use a gender-neutral marker, such as ‘X,’ is essential for the safety and recognition of nonbinary and intersex individuals – a stance supported by 22 states, the District of Columbia, and federal regulations regarding passports and other documents. Labeling this policy rollback as a ‘commonsense approach’ is not only misleading but deeply harmful. Such outdated, disproven, and discriminatory ideas about gender identity do nothing to protect people; instead, they alienate and endanger the transgender community.”

The rule is on the agenda for Thursday’s American Civil Liberties Union Executive Subcommittee meeting.

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