POLITICS

Sen. Kamala Harris Supports Third Gender Option On Federal IDs

The Democratic presidential candidate called for the federal recognition of a third gender, but some LGBTQ activists are wary of her advocacy.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said she supports adding a third gender option on federal ID forms while speaking Tuesday at a town hall at Keene State College in New Hampshire.

Asked by a member of the American Civil Liberties Union about adding the option, Harris replied, “Sure,” according to Politico and the New York Daily News

Harris, who is running for president, later confirmed her stance in an interview with Fox News and the Concord Monitor.

“It’s a simple point. There needs to be another category. And I’m open to the idea of doing that. And I think that it’s a good idea,” Harris told the news outlets.

During the New Hampshire event, Harris criticized President Donald Trump’s policies on the LGBTQ community, homing in on the Trump administration’s ban on transgender members of the military. She called the ban “outrageous.”

“These are people who have decided they are willing to sacrifice and serve for the sake of our democracy and freedom, and you’re going to kick them out of the military?” she said, according to Politico.

Harris has supported and advocated for a number of LGBTQ issues throughout her political career. Last year, she introduced a bill that would require the Census Bureau to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on the annual survey. As California’s attorney general, Harris refused to defend a state law that banned same-sex marriages.

Harris joins Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who in February expressed her support for the federal government to recognize a third gender.

“I have [for] my entire life and career been an ally, and I see the issue of LGBTQ rights as a fundamental civil rights and human rights issue. Period,” Harris said Tuesday.

While Harris has supported LGBTQ issues in her political career, some advocates are wary of her stance on social issues facing the community.

During a CNN town hall on Monday, Harris appeared to confuse transgender men and women when speaking about a bill she introduced that would ban the use of a “gay and trans panic” criminal defense in cases involving attacks on transgender women.

“You’ll remember the tragic cases involving transgender men who were killed,” she said at the town hall. “There was this defense that was happening in court, where the murderer was calling it the gay panic defense, ‘Oh, I panicked because I didn’t know he was gay, and therefore I should not be convicted of murder.’”

LGBTQ advocates quickly called her out, noting that the presidential candidate should’ve known better than to confuse transgender men with transgender women.

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