Earlier today, a district court judge ruled in support of our Associate Director Dana Zzyym’s lawsuit for a passport that accurately reflects their sex as neither male nor female and we couldn’t be happier! As stated in the ruling:
“I find that the Department failed to show that its decision-making process regarding the policy was rationale…The authority to issue passports and prescribe rules for the issuance of passports under [the Passport Act] does not include the authority to deny an applicant on grounds pertinent to basic identity[.]
“Recognizing the unreasonable delays Dana has faced in the issuance of a passport with an intersex marker, the Court enjoins the Department from relying upon its binary-only gender marker policy to withhold the requested passport from Dana.”
In a world which has been trying to hide intersex people’s existence for centuries, and attempting to surgically erase our existence for over half a century, this ruling is a victory to celebrate and we are very proud to have played a role! As stated in Lambda Legal’s press release, “The Intersex Campaign for Equality and its Founding Director, Hida Viloria, played a critical role in bringing Dana’s case forward and in advising Lambda Legal on intersex and nonbinary issues.”
We thank Dana for their courage, hard work and perseverance (the case was filed on Intersex Awareness Day, October 26, 2015) in fighting for our recognition! We also thank the excellent staff at Lambda Legal, particularly lead attorney Paul Castillo, for their work on the lawsuit.
Last year, the State Department issued a statement for Intersex Awareness Day claiming to support intersex people. It said, in part, “On Intersex Awareness Day, we reaffirm our strong commitment to promoting a world where all persons can freely and equally express themselves with dignity, regardless of sex characteristics.” We urge the State Department to follow through on this claim by issuing Dana a passport immediately.