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UK Court Rules People Must Specify Their Gender On Passport

UK Court Rules People Must Specify Their Gender On Passport

A court has ruled that people must specify their gender on their passports.

The ruling was made at the Court of Appeal after the case was brought by campaigner Christie Elan-Cane, who argued that they should be able to put an 'X' instead of a gender.

Elan-Cane believes that the current process of having to indicate whether a person is male or female is 'inherently discriminatory'.

Back in June 2018, they brought the case to the Court of Appeal after the High Court had dismissed a judicial review on the matter.

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During the original ruling, a High Court judge admitted that he was not convinced that the government's policy was unlawful and that part of the reason it was dismissed was because a full review of the issue had not been completed.

Elan-Cane argued that the current passport system is discriminatory. Credit: PA
Elan-Cane argued that the current passport system is discriminatory. Credit: PA

Then, in December 2019, three judges were told by the campaigner that the governments passport policy is 'unlawful' and breached a person's right to privacy and the inalienable right not to be discriminated against.

Elan-Cane's appeal was opposed by the Home Office, which runs Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO), the focal point of the case.

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Speaking at the hearing in December, ahead of today's ruling, Kate Gallafent QC, representing Elan-Cane, told the judges that there was 'nothing more fundamental' that a person's identity.

She said: "This is an important case in the anxious context of the proper understanding and respect for the intimate, human rights of the affected class - persons whose gender identity is neither, or neither exclusively, male nor female.

"There is little which is more fundamental and deeply personal than an individual's gender identity."

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Following today's verdict, Elan-Cane came out and said they intend to take the matter further.

They wrote: "X' PASSPORTS. I regret to inform that the Appeal Court has ruled in the UK government's favour in a judgment handed down this morning.

"We intend to seek permission for the case to be heard at the Supreme Court."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: uk news, Interesting

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]