(The Center Square) – Despite passing a law to allow the gender “X” option on Illinois driver’s licenses in 2019, the change has been slow to implement.
The state passed a law that opened the door for residents to select “X” as their gender, instead of male or female, on state IDs.
The Secretary of State’s Office says it is now ready to launch the plan ahead of the 2024 target date, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Illinois will stick with the original plan.
“It’s hard to expect that just because the secretary of state’s office now has decided that they’re ready in 2023, that all of the other enterprises that have been aiming at 2024 should all of a sudden be ready this year,” Pritzker said.
Illinois State Police say they need more time. A spokesperson said the gender “X” change will affect an information sharing database that police pull data from driver’s licenses and criminal history records from the secretary of state.
“We know that changing the gender marker is more complicated than just flipping a switch, and it will have significant impacts on law enforcement, medical professionals and the court systems across the state,” Illinois Secretary of State spokesman Henry Haupt said in an email.
It’s unclear how such a change would affect the federal crime database as well.
The U.S. State Department started issuing passports with a gender neutral option last year, becoming the first federal government agency to do so.
But now a bill drafted by Texas U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin, aims to reverse the Biden administration’s edict.
“Passports exist to accurately identify people, not play pretend with radical gender ideology,” Roy said.
Several states offer the gender “X” option on state IDs, including California, New York and Connecticut, while the matter has been tied up in court for years in Indiana.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office has appealed a lawsuit that forced the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to reinstate its policy of issuing driver’s licenses with an “X” listed as the gender marker for nonbinary residents.