One Colorado Statement on 10th Circuit Court Oral Arguments for Zzyym vs. Pompeo

Denver, CO — On January 22nd, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit heard oral arguments for Zzyym vs. Pompeo. One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families released the following statement from Executive Director, Daniel Ramos.

“This court case has the potential to bring much-needed relief to people who are non-binary. For too long, gender diverse folks have endured the confusion, worry, and stress that comes along with having mismatched identity documents. We hope to see the federal government finally catch up with states like Colorado to ensure non-binary people can access passports that reflect who they are.”
– One Colorado Executive Director, Daniel Ramos

In 2015, Dana Zzyym, a resident of Fort Collins, Colorado, who was born intersex and identifies as non-binary, was denied a passport after they did not designate “male” or “female” on their application and instead designated “intersex”. In 2016, a federal judge asked the Department to reconsider its refusal to issue a passport. Following that decision, Zzyym’s application was again denied on the basis of their non-binary gender. 

In September 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado found that the Department’s gender policy was arbitrary and capricious and that the passport application denial violated the law. The federal government appealed the decision, which sent the case to the federal appeals court in Denver. Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit heard oral arguments for the case.