February 8, 2018 at 11:16 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Md. bill would allow ‘unspecified’ gender marker on driver’s license
Maryland State House, gay news, Washington Blade

A Maryland House of Delegates committee on Feb. 8, 2018, held a hearing on a bill that would allow Marylanders to obtain state-issued identification cards and driver’s licenses with an “unspecified” gender marker. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Maryland lawmakers on Thursday held a hearing on a bill that would allow Marylanders to obtain state-issued identification cards and driver’s licenses with an “unspecified” gender marker.

Members of the Maryland House of Delegates Environment and Transportation Committee heard testimony on House Bill 13, which state Del. Shane Robinson (D-Montgomery County) introduced.

Matthew Malouf, a Baltimore psychologist who is on the board of the Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome-Differences of Sex Development Support Group, which is one of the largest support groups for intersex people in the U.S., testified in support of the measure.

“Having binary male/female sex markers on driver’s licenses and on other state and federal SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) identifiers impair our ability to record and collect information on this population and to guide individuals and families in aspects of their treatment,” said Malouf. “By changing the framework by which we categorize data, bills such as HB 13 allow researchers and practitioners to have a better understanding of the prevalence of these conditions which, in turn, hopefully improves outcomes.”  

“Changes to how we think about gender markers across the lifespan can also reduce the pressure families face in choosing an ‘optimal’ sex of rearing at birth, pressure which sometimes impairs their medical decision making and can result in inappropriate surgical intervention on infants,” added Malouf. “For those individuals diagnosed with one of these conditions, it also allows them to have identification that accurately reflects their physical body.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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