SEATTLE — Washington health officials took public comment on a proposal to allow a third gender option on birth certificates in the state.

KING-TV reports officials heard from supporters and critics during the Tuesday hearing on the proposal that could go into effect by February if approved.

State officials are considering adding the non-binary option gender X to certificates. Currently the state only allows male or female on the documents.

Supporters say the third option would alleviate confusion and frustration and create an atmosphere of better understanding.

Critics say the third gender option could have unintended consequences like making state statistics unreliable.

Washington Secretary of Health John Weisman is expected to make a decision on the proposal by the end of the year.

Information from: KING-TV,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.