State Department Introduces New Gender Neutral Passports

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

The U.S. Department of State has announced that the words “mother” and “father” will be replaced on all U.S. passport applications with the more gender neutral “parent one” and “parent two.”

Fox News is reporting that the State Department claims the changes were made “to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.”

Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services, claims the changes are not being made out of political correctness.

“We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago,” she said.

As expected, gay rights groups are applauding the decision. 

“Changing the term mother and father to the more global term of parent allows many different types of families to be able to go and apply for a passport for their child without feeling like the government doesn’t recognize their family,” said Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Equality Council, an organization that lobbied the government for years to make the changes.

Chrisler recounted the day she and her female partner tried to get her twin sons passports.

“Even though my partner was their legal mother, had adopted them after I gave birth to them, she still had to put her name in the father field, and that is both discriminatory and makes us feel like second-class citizens,” she said.

Christian organizations are outraged by the decision.

“Only in the topsy-turvy world of left-wing political correctness could it be considered an ‘improvement’ for a birth-related document to provide less information about the circumstances of that birth,” said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins to Fox News Radio. “This is clearly designed to advance the causes of same-sex ‘marriage’ and homosexual parenting without statutory authority, and violates the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act.”

Perkins accused the State Department of disrespecting the law and called on Congress to “take their oversight rule very seriously and intervene in both these circumstances.”

The new gender-neutral passport application will go into use next month.

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