A Gender-neutral activist argues the UK discriminates against “non-gendered” people by making them choose a sex on the current UK passport application.
The application for a judicial review is being made by lawyers on behalf of Christie Elan-Cane, an activist who has been pushing for the Home office to offer a gender-neutral sex option on the UK passport for the last 25 years.
Countries such as Canada, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Ireland and Nepal already have a third option besides male and female.
The UN International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) allow for M, F or X in the sex category on machine-readable passports. X stands for unspecified.
Elan-Crane has appeared before the Commons women and equalities select committee to give evidence for the committee’s inquiry into transgender equality.
“Legitimate identity is a fundamental human right but non-gendered people are often treated as though we have no rights,” Elan-Cane said. “The UK’s passport application process requires applicants to declare whether they are male or female. It is inappropriate and wrong that someone who defines as neither should be forced to make that declaration.’’
Elan-Cane, who was born a woman but now identifies as “non-gendered,” says individuals should be given more than the binary choice of being a man or a woman.
Elan-Cane argues the government is discriminating against its own citizens by allowing holders of foreign X passports to enter the country, but not offering the same options to its citizens.
Solicitors from Clifford Chance, who are representing Elan-Cane, argue that British citizens who identify as neither male nor female are subject to and humiliated by a discriminatory passport policy that fails to acknowledge their identities or their existence.