White House Will Not Instantly Recognize 'Non-Binary Genders' in All Departments

Spokesman Says Recognition Must be on 'Case-by-Case Basis'

Newborn babies
Babies wearing pink and blue blankets identifying their gender wait in the hospital. |

A White House representative has responded to an online petition that received over 103,000 signatories calling for the Obama Administration to recognize "non-binary genders."

Roy Austin, deputy assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice, and Opportunity in the Domestic Policy Council, recently responded to the petition posted on the "We the People" website in March.

While sympathetic to the petition's demands, Austin wrote on Friday that "there is considerable variance across agencies and levels of government."

"…we believe proposals to change when and how gender is listed on official documents should be considered on a case-by-case basis by the affected federal and state agencies," responded Austin.

"However, that consideration must be informed by best practices and a commitment to honoring individuality and ensuring fairness."

Austin's reply also directed readers to a link showcasing President Barack Obama's record on LGBT issues.

"We know how important this issue is, and we understand the profound impact, both symbolic and otherwise, of having official documents that accurately reflect an individual's identity," wrote Austin.

"These documents play an essential, functional role, but also demonstrate the measure of dignity and respect afforded to our nation's citizens."

In March, a petition was posted on the White House's "We the People" website demanding that the federal government recognize "non-binary genders," or gender identities outside of male and female.

"Legal documents in the United States only recognize 'male' and 'female' as genders, leaving anyone who does not identify as one of these two genders with no option," read the petition.

"This petition asks the Obama administration to legally recognize genders outside of the male-female binary, such as agender, pangender, genderfluid and others, and provide an option for these genders on all legal documents and records."

To earn an official response from the Obama Administration, the petition had to get at least 100,000 signatures by April 20, a benchmark it passed days before the deadline.

Despite making the 100,000 mark back in April, the petition to recognize "non-binary genders" had to wait nearly three months for a reply.

Another petition response, that calling upon Tesla Motors to directly sell products to consumers in all 50 states, were the first official responses posted since May.

President Obama delivers remarks at a reception celebrating LGBT Pride Month in the East Room of the White House, June 30, 2014. |

The petition response refusing to fully implement recognition of "non-binary genders" in all federal government agencies comes as the nation waits for President Obama's executive order on LGBT employment discrimination.

Recently Obama announced that he will sign an executive order barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity among business that have federal contracts.

The pending executive order has drawn praise from some for taking steps to protect sexual minorities and criticism from others for concerns that the order will lack sufficient religious liberty protections.

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