Bias Watch

Evangelical leader demands foreign nations refuse entry to Americans with gender-neutral passports

Franklin Graham
Franklin GrahamPhoto: Shutterstock

A Christian conservative leader is calling on other countries to refuse entry to people with U.S. passports with “X” gender markers.

Franklin Graham, the son of the famous televangelist Billy Graham and the well-remunerated president/CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, railed against the Biden administration for issuing a U.S. passport with an “X” gender marker to a non-binary person for the first time yesterday.

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“I hope countries will reject recognizing this passport and refuse the person carrying it into their country,” he wrote on Facebook. “The State Department is wrong. This is not truth or science. We only have two genders: Male and Female.”

“Gender X is not only nonsense, it is going against God,” Graham claimed. “The State Department is turning the American passport into a farce, not to mention flaunting God.”

He closed his post by asking his followers to “pray that those running our government will come to their sense, or be voted out of office.”

A passport is a form of identification and proof of nationality, not a document that necessarily grants entry into other countries. Entry can depend on visas and other requirements outside of a passport itself.

What Graham is calling for is for countries to refuse to accept an official U.S. document as proof of identity and nationality, effectively having foreign nations disrespect the U.S. government in order to advance his political agenda because his party lost the 2020 elections.

Several other countries like Canada, New Zealand, and Pakistan already issue passports with gender markers beyond M and F, and the U.S. didn’t even have gender markers on passports before 1977.

A federal judge ruled in 2019 that the U.S. had to issue a passport to Dana Zzyym – who is intersex and non-binary – without an M or F gender marker after years of litigation.

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. would start issuing passports with X gender markers.

Zzyym was the person issued the first U.S. passport with an X gender marker yesterday.

“I almost burst into tears when I opened the envelope, pulled out my new passport, and saw the ‘X’ stamped boldly under ‘sex,’” they said. “I’m also ecstatic that other intersex and non-binary U.S. citizens will soon be able to apply for passports with the correct gender marker. It took six years, but to have an accurate passport, one that doesn’t force me to identify as male or female but recognizes I am neither, is liberating.”

The State Department said that the option will become available in its routine passport application process in early 2022.

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