On Saturday, members of the Democratic National Committee adopted language to their charter and rules that will include a classification for gender nonbinary members.
The previous charter required all committees be divided evenly between men and women, but now, under the newly adopted system, committees “shall be as equally divided as practicable between men and women (determined by gender self-identification) meaning that the variance between men and women in the group cannot exceed one (1).”
Basically, gender non-binary members will count as neither male nor female, while the remaining, gendered members will be divided evenly between male and female.
“At the root of our diverse party is a commitment to inclusion and opportunity,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement to CNN. “By adopting this amendment, the Democratic National Committee is ensuring every Democrat feels welcome and embraced for who they are. This action reaffirms our solidarity with the LGBTQ community and challenges governments, employers, and organizations across the country to do the same.”
Previously, Democrats had to choose a gender in order to participate in party organization or caucuses to meet the requirement of equal representation between men and women.
With several states, including Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, now offering to include a third gender option for nonbinary individuals on different forms of identification (birth certificates, driver’s licences, and other official documents), Democrats wanted to include the option as part of the changes made to their charter during the recent summer meeting.
“I think it’s not only significant for the DNC, but I think it’s significant for the LGBT community,” DNC Secretary Jason Rae, who helped author the changes, told CNN. “The language that was adopted expands our definition of gender — it includes making sure that we can have gender nonbinary individuals participating fully in our process.”
A member of the rules committee that wrote the new language, Rae helped to ensure the party was able to meet their goal of allowing the LGBTQ community to participate in full.
“One of the goals of all the reforms was to really make sure we’re building an inclusive party where all people were able to participate in the nominating process,” he said. “The addition around language around gender nonbinary individuals really allows us to fill that mission.”
The changes will begin to be implemented in the communities and organizations belonging to State Democratic parties in the lead-up to the 2020 national convention.
“I know we have work to do to continue implementing this proposal,” Rae said. “I’m excited for the step forward we’re making to show that we are a party that welcomes all of the LGBTQ+ community.”
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