Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined a coalition of attorneys general in urging the FBI to add a new, non-binary gender designation to its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system. Herring’s office says that this will protect non-binary individuals’ interests by affirming their gender identity and improve the accuracy of federal and state crime data collection.
“The rate of violence or harassment against non-binary individuals is already high, but too often, they may choose not to report an incident for fear of being misgendered throughout the process,” said Attorney General Herring. “We must make sure that non-binary individuals feel comfortable coming forward if they have been the victim of a crime, which is why I am joining my colleagues in calling on the FBI to immediately make this change, sending a strong message to non-binary Virginians and Americans that they are recognized and protected.”
The FBI generates national crime statistics by asking law enforcement agencies across the country to submit crime data to the UCR program, which currently allows only male or female gender designations. As a result, law enforcement agencies encounter errors if they attempt to submit crime incident data in which individuals have been identified as non-binary.
In the letter to FBI Director Christopher W. Wray, Attorney General Herring joined 20 other attorneys general in asking that the FBI act swiftly to add an “X” gender code, which indicates that an individual is non-binary, to the UCR system to allow the states to affirm non-binary individuals’ gender identities when collecting and sharing crime data.
The letter acknowledges that the FBI has already begun to consider the addition of adding a non-binary gender designation to the UCR and calls on the FBI to promptly make this change.
In sending the letter, Herring joins the the attorneys general of California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
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