West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice delivers his State of the State address, Jan. 10, 2024, in Charleston, W.Va. Source: AP Photo/Chris Jackson, File

West Virginia Bill Banning Non-Binary Gender Designations on Birth Certificates Heads to Governor

Leah Willingham READ TIME: 1 MIN.

A West Virginia bill that would outlaw non-binary gender designations on birth certificates is headed to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice.

The Republican governor hasn't spoken publicly about the bill. Justice, who is running for U.S. Senate, previously signed laws restricting gender-affirming care for minors and transgender children's participation in sports.

The state's only LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, Fairness West Virginia, opposes the legislation, calling it discriminatory.

West Virginia doesn't currently allow non-binary gender markers on birth certificates. The bill's sponsor, Republican Del. Chris Pritt, said he wanted to ensure the state doesn't start offering the option in the future.

Non-binary people identify as not strictly male or female. At least a dozen states offer some form of third gender ID on birth certificates.

Oklahoma was the first U.S. state to explicitly prohibit the use of a non-binary gender designations on state birth certificates in 2022. The federal government issued its first passport with an "X" gender designation in 2021.

by Leah Willingham

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