Taiwan’s new national ID card will include a third gender option for trans people.
The national electronic identification card (eID) will launch in 2020 according to minister of the National Development Council (NDC), Chen Mei-lin.
Chen revealed a person’s gender data will be embedded on the card’s chip. Numbers will represent each gender – male (8), female (9) and transgender (7).
The United Daily reported Chen addressed the question of gender at a European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) event.
She said the trans option was for people who did not feel comfortable identifying as male or female. Chen said the changes reflected Taiwan’s commitment to the rights of trans and gender non-conforming people.
Taiwan joins Pakistan, British Columbia in Canada to offer a third gender option on the national ID card. Countries to offer third gender options on passports include: Australia, Denmark, Malta, Pakistan, Germany and Canada.
The announcement comes as Taiwanese voters head to the polls to vote in three referendums on LGBTI rights. Two of the referndums will ask whether people agree to change the law to allow two people of the same-sex to marry. It will also ask citizens if they approve of LGBTI content introduced to school curriculum.
This comes despite the country’s top court last year ruling it was unconstitutional to prevent same-sex marriage. The Constitutional Court gave lawmakers two years to create legislation to make marriage equality legal. But conservative Christian groups beat them to it and successfully raised enough signatures to call for a referendum on the issue.