'Neither' Now an Acceptable Gender in Australia

Person who doesn't identify as male or female wins court case
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2013 2:16 PM CDT
'Neither' Now an Acceptable Gender in Australia
You don't need to pick a gender in Australia anymore.   (Shutterstock)

You don't have to be a man or a woman in Australia anymore if you don't want to be. An appeals court today ruled in favor of a Sydney activist who goes only by the first name Norrie, who identifies as "neuter," and who wants to be legally recognized as such, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. "As a matter of construction … the word sex does not bear a binary meaning of 'male' or 'female,'" the appeals court wrote in its unanimous ruling.

Norrie's state government briefly agreed to list her as genderless for a few months, before changing its mind and deciding that everyone must be either male or female. The appeals court rebuked that logic, and while technically the ruling only applies to those who, like Norrie, have had sex-change surgery, it could be used as precedent for all manner of genderqueer people. Norrie was pleased, saying, "It's not good enough if the law is just for the majority of people." (More Australia stories.)

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