PORTLAND, Ore., June 14 (UPI) -- An Oregon court has become the first in the nation to declare a person legally neither sex.
Judge Amy Holmes Hehn ruled Friday that U.S. Army veteran Jamie Shupe, who identifies as neither male nor female, can legally gender from female to being considered nonbinary.
"It feels amazing to be free from a binary sex classification system that inadequately addressed who I really am, a system in which I felt confined," Shupe said.
Shupe was born male, later retired sergeant first class from the Army, then transitioned to female in 2013, because Shupe said, it was the only option at the time.
The ruling was described as a "historic step" toward the government's recognizing "nonbinary members of our community and ensuring they have access to identity documents that reflect who they are, just like everyone else," said Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center in Oakland, Calif.
Oregon doesn't limit gender choices to male or female by law. The legal process for changing gender has been about the same as changing a name, said Shupe's attorney, Lake Perriguey.
Advocates believe Hehn's ruling might also help clear cases on other issues, such as gender-neutral bathrooms.