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Hawaii Governor signs 3 pro-LGBTQ bills during Pride Month. Now that’s how you celebrate!

Hawaii Governor David Ige
Photo: Twitter/@govhawaii

The governor of Hawaii signed three LGBTQ bills into law: a ban on the gay and trans panic defense, a conversion therapy ban, and another allowing nonbinary gender markers on state ID.

Governor David Ige (D) signed a law giving applicants a third option in addition to male and female for drivers’ licenses: an “X.” The new option will be available starting in July 2020.

Hawaii is now the 16th state to allow non-binary gender markers on state ID.

“This measure returns us closer to the inclusive society of Native Hawaiians, which celebrated expressions of gender beyond masculinity and femininity,” said Khara Jabola-Carolus of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women.

Related: Hawaii’s Supreme Court rejects religious excuse for discrimination against lesbians

The state also banned the gay and trans panic defenses.

The gay panic defense is when someone commits a crime and says they did it because a person of the same sex hit on them and they panicked because their heterosexuality was effectively questioned, making it supposedly more understandable that they would act out violently.

The trans panic defense is when someone commits a crime and claims they did it because they engaged in or were about to have sexual activity with the victim before finding out they were transgender, making them question their heterosexuality or something.

The governor signed the bill into law on Wednesday.

Last, the state passed a bill about gender identity conversion therapy. Hawaii passed a conversion therapy ban last year.

The state also banned conversion therapy for minors. The bill that was just signed into law clarifies that the original conversion therapy ban refers to attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, not just sexual orientation as some interpreted the original law to mean.

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