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Argentina creates non-binary ID option in first for Latin America

BUENOS AIRES: People who have received a national identity document in Argentina have been able to mark their gender with an “X” starting Wednesday, in accordance with a presidential decree that puts the country at the forefront of such issues in Latin America.

This new variant, which goes beyond the standard male / female binary pair, is designed to protect gender identity and comes after such a move has been considered since 2012.

The ruling, published in the country’s official gazette, stated that “X” could represent a range of statuses from “non-binary” or “undefined” to “another value that can be used to identify a person who is not understood to be binary male / female.”

President Alberto Fernandez celebrated this decree with a ceremony at the Metropolitan Bicentennial Museum.

“The state should not care about the gender of its citizens,” the president said, adding that there are “a thousand ways to love, be loved and be happy.”

“There are other identities besides man and woman, and they need to be respected,” he said.

Argentina’s LGBT Federation celebrated what it called “a historic breakthrough in rights.”

“While the use of ‘X’ is not fully inclusive to recognize a wide range of existing identities, it is an important step towards real equality of rights,” the statement said.

Fernandez said he believed his country’s acceptance of same-sex marriage under a law in force since 2010 “was the beginning of this whole journey to diversity.”

Argentina also recently passed legislation establishing a quota for transgender people to work in the national public administration.

The new “X” category will be possible not only in Argentina’s national identity document (DNI), but also in its passport.

This move is similar to those in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. – AFP

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