Indiana AG says state agencies cant's use nonbinary marker

Indiana agencies are not allowed to use an “X" gender designation on identification documents for residents who don't identify as male or female, the state attorney general said.

Posted: Mar 10, 2020 4:52 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana agencies are not allowed to use an “X" gender designation on identification documents for residents who don't identify as male or female, the state attorney general said.

On Monday, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. said in an official opinion that agencies must have strict direction from the state legislature to adopt the nonbinary identifier, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported. Republican Sen. Jim Tomes requested Hill's opinion.

State law requires applications for driver’s licenses or state IDs to include information about the person's gender.

Hill, a Republican, said the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and State Department of Health exceeded their authority when they briefly allowed nonbinary individuals to apply for a driver's license, state identification card or birth certificate with an "X" marker.

"Administrative agencies like the BMV and the ISDH are creatures of the Legislature whose powers are limited to their authorizing statutes," Hill said.

The BMV did not respond to Hill's opinion, but it said it is reviewing his statement and figuring out how to proceed. An attorney general's opinion is not legally binding.

Democratic Sen. J.D. Ford, who is Indiana’s only openly gay state lawmaker, criticized Hill’s opinion in a statement released Tuesday.

“Why are we so against inclusion in our state? We are all human beings, deserving of dignity, and I applaud the BMV for recognizing that, Ford said.

Hill noted that state law only authorizes Indiana residents to identify as male or female.

"Individuals wishing to change their binary designation on a driver's license or identification card may continue to utilize the process currently provided by BMV rules," Hill added.

Hill, who is seeking a second term, is awaiting a state Supreme Court decision on whether he’ll face any punishment for alleged professional misconduct stemming from allegations that he drunkenly groped four women, including a state legislature. He denied any wrongdoing during an October hearing. Former state Supreme Court Justice Myra Selby, who heard four days of testimony about the allegations, recommended in February that Hill’s law license be suspended for at least 60 days, writing that his “conduct was offensive, invasive, damaging and embarrassing” to the women.

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Reported Deaths: 13211
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion961411718
Lake51322943
Allen39040670
Hamilton34368405
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Vanderburgh22050394
Tippecanoe21725212
Johnson17475374
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Clark12663190
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Delaware10325184
Howard9629211
Kosciusko9098113
Hancock7954139
Bartholomew7867155
Warrick7680155
Floyd7543176
Wayne6887198
Grant6773171
Boone6524100
Morgan6379138
Dubois6074117
Marshall5770108
Dearborn568576
Cass5678102
Henry5569100
Noble539383
Jackson492869
Shelby478295
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Harrison427570
Clinton417753
Montgomery417286
DeKalb407984
Huntington377480
Whitley376339
Miami371765
Knox365789
Steuben363357
Putnam352360
Jasper347546
Wabash347377
Adams337852
Ripley333468
Jefferson312180
White307854
Daviess289399
Wells285581
Decatur278592
Fayette277162
Greene270485
Posey268433
Scott260853
Clay253044
LaGrange252170
Randolph234680
Washington230631
Spencer227531
Jennings224747
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Sullivan207542
Starke202652
Owen191956
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Jay185829
Carroll185620
Perry179736
Orange176753
Rush170624
Vermillion165943
Franklin165635
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Parke144316
Blackford133331
Pike130234
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