UNITED STATES NEWS

Arkansas Supreme Court reinstates rule eliminating ‘X’ option for sex on licenses and IDs

Jun 24, 2024, 2:28 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Monday reinstated an agency rule prohibiting residents from using “X” instead of male or female on state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards.

In a one-page order, justices stayed a lower-court ruling that had blocked the new rule that also made it more difficult for transgender people to change the sex listed on their IDs and licenses. The court did not elaborate for its reasons on staying the decision.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said in March that it was rescinding a practice implemented in 2010 that officials say conflicted with state law and had not gone through proper legislative approval. A legislative panel approved an emergency rule implementing the new policy.

The rule change made Arkansas the latest among Republican states taking steps to legally define sex as binary, which critics say is essentially erasing transgender and nonbinary people’s existences and creating uncertainty for intersex people — those born with physical traits that don’t fit typical definitions of male or female.

“I applaud the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision staying the circuit court’s unlawful order and allowing the Department of Finance and Administration to bring its identification rules into compliance with state law,” Attorney General Tim Griffin, a Republican, said in a statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union had sued the state on behalf of several transgender, nonbinary and intersex residents challenging the emergency rule. A state judge who blocked the rule earlier this month said it would cause irreparable harm to the residents if implemented.

“The only real emergency here is the one created by the state itself, imposing this rule on transgender, intersex, and nonbinary Arkansans,” Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, said in a statement. “By removing the ‘X’ marker option, the state forces those who do not fit squarely into the gender binary to choose an inaccurate gender marker, resulting in potential confusion, distress, discrimination, physical harm, and a lack of proper identification.”

Arkansas is in the process of adopting a permanent rule to implement the new policy.

Arkansas was among at least 22 states and the District of Columbia that allowed “X” as an option on licenses and IDs. All previously issued Arkansas licenses and IDs with the “X” designation will remain valid through their existing expiration dates, the department said. When the rule was announced, Arkansas had more than 2.6 million active driver’s licenses, and 342 of them have the “X” designation. The state has about 503,000 IDs, and 174 with the “X” designation.

The emergency rule will also make it more difficult for transgender people to change the sex listed on their licenses and IDs, which they had been able to do by submitting an amended birth certificate. Arkansas law requires a court order for a person to change the sex listed on their birth certificate.

The DFA has said the previous practice wasn’t supported by state law and hadn’t gone through the required public comment process and legislative review.

United States News

Bob Newhart, shown at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 10, 2016, died on July ...

Kevin Stone

Bob Newhart, deadpan master of sitcoms and phone monologues, dies at 94

Bob Newhart, the deadpan comedian who became one of the most popular television stars of his time, has died at 94.

2 minutes ago

Associated Press

Boy who was reported missing from a resort near Disney World found dead in water

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A 3-year-old boy who was reported missing from a resort near Walt Disney World in central Florida early Thursday was found dead in a body of water on the resort’s grounds several hours later, the sheriff’s office said. The boy was initially believed to have wandered away from the resort sometime […]

6 minutes ago

FILE - Pageant winners throw out beads during the Memphis PRIDE Festival & Parade, June 4, 2022, in...

Associated Press

Federal appeals court dismisses lawsuit over Tennessee’s anti-drag show ban

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit challenging first-in-the-nation law designed to place strict limits on drag shows, reversing a lower court ruling that deemed the statute unconstitutional and blocked its enforcement in part of the state. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Memphis-based LGBTQ+ […]

7 minutes ago

Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, sixth from right, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg,...

Associated Press

Long Beach breaks ground on $1.5B railyard expansion at port to fortify US supply chain

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other officials visited the port of Long Beach on Thursday to break ground on a $1.5 billion railyard expansion project that will more than triple the volume of rail cargo the dock can handle annually. Dubbed “America’s Green Gateway,” the project will expand the existing […]

40 minutes ago

Associated Press

Stellantis tells owners of over 24,000 hybrid minivans to park outdoors due to battery fire risk

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Stellantis is telling the owners of more than 24,000 plug-in hybrid minivans to park them outdoors away from buildings, and to stop charging them due to the possibility of battery fires. The company said Thursday that it’s recalling certain 2017 through 2021 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrids, mainly in North America. […]

45 minutes ago

The White House is seen Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)Credit:...

Associated Press

Federal appeals court blocks remainder of Biden’s student debt relief plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court blocked the implementation of the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan, which would have lowered monthly payments for millions of borrowers. In a ruling Thursday, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a motion for an administrative stay filed by a group of Republican-led states seeking to invalidate […]

1 hour ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Arkansas Supreme Court reinstates rule eliminating ‘X’ option for sex on licenses and IDs