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On Passports, Mother and Father Will Soon Be ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’

Posted: January 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , | Comments Off on On Passports, Mother and Father Will Soon Be ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’

The terms "mother" and "father" on US passport applications are being replaced with the gender-neutral terms "Parent 1" and "Parent 2". Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council said the change "allows many different types of families to be able to go and apply for a passport…without feeling like the government doesn't recognize their family." Naturally, anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council are outraged, saying the change "violates the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act."

The change also highlights a staggeringly underreported issue: the technological infrastructure our society uses to classify people. Changing terms on forms costs real dollars, but perhaps counterintuitively, a gender-neutral infrastructure is not just more humane, it's more cost-effective, too.

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