Intersex person denied passport over gender designation

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Intersex Person Denied Passport Over Gender Designation Sues U.S. Government

DENVER -- Dana Zzyym is on a mission to change the policy for applying for a passport -- so no American citizen needs to list whether they are male or female.

"I have to assert what is right for me," Zzyym said Wednesday.

Zzyym identifies as neither male nor female -- an intersexual. Zzyym was in federal court Wednesday for a hearing regarding current State Department rules.

Zzyym has been fighting this battle for more than two years, after having an application denied by the State Department. Zzyym was trying to attend an intersexual conference in Mexico.

"I wrote 'I' on the form instead of male or female because that bottom line says under penalty of perjury you have to be honest," Zzyym said.

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The government was represented by Justice and State Department attorneys arguing that asking for gender identity is essential for security and uniformity, and that choosing one is as common as choosing which bathroom to use.

"Dana is a U.S. citizen and military veteran and it's inconsistent with Dana's rights. Dana shouldn't have to choose," said Paul Castillo, a LAMDA attorney who represents Zzyym.

Zzyym's attorneys appear to have convinced Judge Brook Jackson.

"The sun will still come up tomorrow" if the government allows Zzyym to receive a passport without indicating male or female, Jackson said.

A settlement is still possible. If that doesn't occur, expect a ruling from Jackson soon.

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