Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., NY) discussed her support for the federal government recognizing a third gender during an appearance KCCI News in Iowa.
"We should allow for anyone who feels that identifying as a male or female doesn't represent who they are. There's a lot of people who are in a fluid transition or they may see themselves differently. I think there's a lot of states that have already passed that law because it makes sense for those people, and I don't know why we have to demonize anyone," Gillibrand said.
Gillibrand's comments expand on her response to a question Friday on whether she supported establishing a non-binary third gender. Speaking at a meet and greet in New Hampshire, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate "emphatically" said "yes" to recognizing "X" as a third gender listing, CBS News reports.
Maine, Oregon, California, Colorado, Washington, D.C., and New York City recognize a third gender option.
After announcing the formation of a presidential exploratory committee in January, Gillibrand faced tough questions about her past conservative views on issues such as gun rights and immigration. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow noted before an interview with the candidate that Gillibrand "has been on her own party's right, [and] she has been on her own party's left." The senator referred to her previous views on immigration as "callous."
Gillibrand was also criticized for misleading voters about her presidential ambitions during her Senate campaign last year. The editorial boards of the Syracuse Post-Standard and the Buffalo News rebuked the senator, with the latter saying she "flat-out lied."
A Politico Magazine piece called her campaign rollout a "bust." Two recent polls show her with 1 percent support among Democratic voters, putting her behind more than a dozen other declared and undeclared candidates, including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.