I know that people often point to understandings of gender and sex that include more than two options, but have you ever seen a system of understanding sex that rejected the binary in a modern state's government? (Let me know if I'm wrong there; I just can't think of one.)
India's done just that, by allowing people to identify as male, female, or other:
Before, members of these groups -- loosely called eunuchs in Indian English -- were referred to as male or female in the voter rolls.
But now, they will have the choice to tick "O" -- for others -- when indicating their gender in voter forms, the Indian election commission said in a statement.
"Enumerators and booth-level officers (BLOs) shall be instructed to indicate the sex of eunuchs/transsexuals etc as 'O' if they so desire, while undertaking any house-to-house enumeration/verification of any application," a statement from election authorities said.
The recognition comes 15 years after the third sex was granted the right to vote -- in 1994.
In India, the Tamil Nadu government took the lead in March 2008 to officially recognise the third sex when the state civil supplies department added the option 'T" (third sex) in ration cards.[...]
Besides the electoral rolls, the option to indicate the third sex as 'O' will also be available in other documents of the commission, including IT-based formats and website, the statement said.
Now that's something that I can't imagine happening in America.
Not only would the Religious Right just not have it, I don't know if we'd want it. Are there many people who identify outside the binary in the US? While the article says that the new rules are for transsex and intersex people, most trans folk in the US (at least those who I know) identify as men or women, and I haven't heard much for a need to create a new category for intersex people.
But I wonder if it's one of those changes that has to happen before we find out how much we needed it in the first place.