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Cost Of Changing Your Legal Gender Reduced To £5 From Today

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Cost Of Changing Your Legal Gender Reduced To £5 From Today

From today (4 May), the cost of changing your legal gender has been reduced from £140 to just £5 in a bid to make the process 'much more affordable'.

The reduction to the fee comes after ministers pledged last September to slash costs from £140 - despite deciding against wider reforms.

Announcing the new cost, Women and Equalities Minister Liz Truss said in a statement: "As we build back better, we want transgender people to be free to live and to prosper in modern Britain.

"In the National LGBT Survey, 34% of transgender people told us that the cost of applying for a certificate was holding them back from doing so.

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"Today we have removed that barrier, and I am proud that we have made the process of getting a certificate fairer, simpler and much more affordable."

Liz Truss. Credit: PA
Liz Truss. Credit: PA

While the cost of applying for a gender recognition certificate has been cited an obstacle for many people, some LGBTQ+ groups have argued much more work is needed.

In September 2020, the government announced it would not be making wider reforms to the process, following a public consultation.

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At the time, Truss said there were 'proper checks and balances in the system', agreeing to make applying 'kinder and more straightforward' by reducing the fee and moving the process online.

Many charities have since called for wider, more fundamental change, with the LGBT Foundation saying it was 'incredibly disappointed' as the reforms fail to take 'the views expressed in the consultation responses' into account.

The foundation said the experiences of trans and non-binary people 'have been pushed to the side', adding that it was also disappointed to see that 'the government has decided not to use this opportunity to allow non-binary people the chance to gain legal recognition of their gender'.

Nancy Kelley, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said the government had 'fallen far short on its promise' to reform the Gender Recognition Act, and that it had 'missed a key opportunity to progress LGBT equality'.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"It's a shocking failure in leadership that after three years and a robust public consultation, the UK Government has put forward only minimal administrative changes to improve the process for legal gender recognition of trans people in England and Wales," Kelley said in a statement last year.

"While these moves will make the current process less costly and bureaucratic, they don't go anywhere near far enough toward meaningfully reforming the Act to make it easier for all trans people to go about their daily life."

She added: "All trans people, including non-binary people, deserve to be respected for who they are."

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Meanwhile, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has said it is a 'missed opportunity to simplify the law on gender recognition'.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, LGBT

Jess Hardiman
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