Australia Approves New Gender Choice on Passports

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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Australians will now have a third choice besides male and female when they identify their gender on passport applications.

Under new guidelines announced Thursday, applicants will also be able to check a box marked “indeterminate.”

Officials say the purpose of the change is to end discrimination against transgendered or intersex individuals. Applicants taking advantage of the option will have to support their claim with a doctor's statement.

The change reflects growing acceptance of persons born with characteristics of both sexes and those who undergo sex change operations.

Under the old rules, passport applicants could only identify themselves as male or female. They could change their status only after a sex-change operation.