Denver: In a unique attempt, the State Department of United States on Wednesday released its first passport, adding an X gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a US passport or CRBA.Also Read - Russia Marks Another Daily Coronavirus Death High; 1,123 Fatalities Recorded

The US special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights, Jessica Stern, called the moves historic and celebratory, saying they bring the government documents in line with the lived reality that there is a wider spectrum of human sex characteristics than is reflected in the previous two designations. Also Read - Covid to Make a Comeback in India? China, Russia, UK Report Significant Resurgence in Cases | Key Points

Earlier in June, the State Department said that it was moving toward adding a third gender marker for nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people, however, it would take time because it required extensive updates to its computer systems. Also Read - Oldest Human Footprints in North America Found in New Mexico

The United States has joined countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, and Canada, in allowing its citizens to designate a gender other than male or female on their passports. A department official declined to say whether it was for Dana Zzyym, an intersex Colorado resident who has been in a legal battle with the department since 2015, saying the department does not usually discuss individual passport applications because of privacy concerns.

Zzyym was denied a passport for failing to check male or female on an application. According to court documents, Zzyym wrote intersex above the boxes marked M and F and requested an X gender marker instead in a separate letter. “We see this as a way of affirming and uplifting the human rights of trans and intersex and gender-nonconforming and nonbinary people everywhere,” added Jessica Stern.

(With inputs From PTI)