The Constitutional Court of Colombia has ruled that people should have the option of listing a nonbinary gender on their official identification documents.
The court ruled last week that the government must allow residents “to opt for this category, with the same guarantees of those who identify officially as binary,” Agence France-Presse reports.
The decision came in a case brought by Dani Garcia, a Colombian who was assigned male at birth, went through a gender transition, and in 2019 sought an official ID listing their gender as “indeterminate.” The government agency in charge of issuing such documents initially denied the request. All Colombian citizens who are 18 or older are issued an ID card by the National Civil Agency, and it serves as their identification in voting, travel, applying for jobs, and a host of other activities.
The court ordered the agency to provide Garcia with the document and offer the nonbinary option to others. This option “is an initial step towards effective social participation,” the justices wrote.
Several countries, including the U.S., offer a nonbinary identifier on passports, and some U.S. states have begun allowing nonbinary or gender-neutral markers on driver’s licenses and other documents.
There has been a degree of progress for LGBTQ+ Colombians in recent years. The South American nation has had marriage equality since 2016, thanks to a Constitutional Court ruling. Its first out senator, bisexual woman Angélica Lozano, was elected in 2018. Bogotá, the nation’s capital, elected its first woman and first out mayor, lesbian Claudia López Hernández, in 2019. That position is considered second in importance only to the president.