Judge Rules U.S. Wrongfully Denied Passport to Intersex Navy Vet

(Bloomberg) -- A Colorado federal judge ruled the U.S. State Department exceeded its authority by denying a passport to an intersex Navy veteran who declined to identify as male or female on the application.

Other countries are increasingly allowing for a non-binary gender marker on their passports, making the U.S. government’s rationale for refusing to do so "inadequate," U.S. District Judge Brooke Jackson, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, said in the ruling Tuesday in Denver.

Dana Zzyym, whose application for the travel document was denied four years ago, said the agency’s stance has already resulted in lost professional opportunities in Mexico and The Netherlands. Zzyym uses the pronouns "they" and "them" and requested a passport with gender "X" listed.

“I’m not going to lie on my passport application, I shouldn’t have to," Zzyym said in a statement distributed by the LGBT rights organization Lambda Legal.

A State Department official said Wednesday the agency is reviewing the decision and coordinating with the Department of Justice on next steps.

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