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CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



NEWS RELEASE

'X' PASSPORTS IN THE UK: LANDMARK APPEAL HEARING

Date: 1ST WEEK IN DECEMBER 2019 – DATE TBC 2ND DECEMBER
Location: Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London

Between: CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE AND THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
Intervener: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

A High Court judgment handed down 22/06/18 ruled that Christie Elan-Cane’s claim merited the engagement of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights [ECHR] “I am satisfied that the claimant’s Article 8 rights are engaged in this case so that the claimant’s right to respect for private life will include a right to respect for the claimant’s identification as non-gendered.” Para. 108

The judicial review application was submitted 02/06/2017 by Clifford Chance LLP on behalf of Christie Elan-Cane

Permission for the claim to proceed was granted in an oral hearing at the Administrative Court [a specialist court within the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court] on 11/10/17

The claim concerns HM Government’s refusal to issue non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports and contests the policy administered by HM Passport Office [HMPO] on behalf of the UK Government [to refuse to issue ‘X’ Passports] as unlawful and inherently discriminatory

Despite the landmark precedent set by engagement of ECHR Article 8 as applied to a person of non-gendered identity, the High Court ruled the UK Government’s passport policy was not unlawful

High Court Judgment handed down 22/06/18 full text HERE

Permission to appeal the High Court's finding to the Court of Appeal was granted on the basis of the general importance of the issues raised in the case to the public interest. The appeal will be heard during the week commencing 2 December 2019.

KEY FACTS:

HMPO’s passport policy and its effects:

Applicants for a UK passport must indicate whether they are male or female in a signed declaration;

  • A mandatory requirement that UK passport applicants must indicate a gender affords no provision for individuals whose identities are neither male nor female;

  • HMPO refuses to issue passports that display a permissible non gender-specific ‘X’ character rather than ‘M’ or ‘F’ [‘X’ Passports];

  • Passport applicants whose identities are neither male nor female are subject to a discriminatory policy which forces them to declare an inappropriate gender otherwise they cannot obtain a passport;

  • HMPO policy forces individuals whose identities are neither male nor female to deny a profound aspect of their identity whilst making a declaration known by the individual to be false;

  • HMPO passport policy means that individuals in this category face an unacceptable choice between carrying a document for the purposes of travel and identification that is a gross misrepresentation [rather than an affirmation] of their identity and forgoing a passport;

  • HMPO policy causes distress and humiliation to individuals whose social invisibility is further compounded;

  • HMPO policy is effectively forcing a section already marginalized within gendered society to collude in their own oppression/invisibility through a forced and unwilling self-denial of their identity in return for issuance of a UK passport;

  • Passport data is used by some third party institutions [eg. financial service providers] to confirm a person’s identity with the effect that documentation issued and personal records held by third parties on non-gendered individuals is consequentially inaccurate and misrepresentative.

Christie Elan-Cane has campaigned for more than 25 years to achieve legal and social recognition as a person of non-gendered identity;
Christie has engaged with politicians of all mainstream parties and worked with various government departments to raise awareness of the issues surrounding non-gendered identity over a number of years;
Christie approached Clifford Chance LLP and subsequently instigated legal proceedings against the UK Home Office in order that its passport policy should be subject to judicial review after the political process had been exhausted and had failed;
Christie is not seeking special treatment however does seek to be treated fairly;
Christie would not accept an ‘X’ Passport without a policy change on their issuance;
Christie’s pronoun [third person singular] is per/per/perself.

Christie is represented, on a pro-bono basis, by Narind Singh, Eraldo D'Atri, Anne Collins and Jemima Roe of Clifford Chance LLP and Kate Gallafent QC, Tom Mountford and Gayatri Sarathy of Blackstone Chambers.

Quotes:
Christie Elan-Cane: ‘’Legitimate identity is a fundamental human right but non-gendered people are treated as though we have no rights. It is unacceptable that someone who defines as neither male nor female is forced to declare an inappropriate gender in order to obtain a passport.”

“The UK Government has consistently and consciously shown a determined unwillingness to accommodate non-gendered peoples’ legitimate needs. We are socially invisible and we are ‘inconvenient’ in a society where so much – even the legislative system – is bound and classified in accordance to gender. The Government prefers to respond to our situation as though we do not exist rather than work towards enabling our assimilation into gendered society.’’

Anne Collins, Clifford Chance Associate: ‘‘This case raises important questions regarding the right to respect for individuals’ gender identity for those who do not identify exclusively as male or female, including members of the trans community, intersex people and those who identify as non-gendered. X Passports are crucial to the protection of the human rights of this group of individuals, and Clifford Chance is proud to be working with Christie to appeal the High Court's decision on the issue."

Notes:
‘X’ Passports comply with UN International Civil Aviation Organisation [ICAO] accepted standards for Machine Readable Travel Documents
‘M’, ‘F’ and ‘X’ are permitted characters for ‘Sex’, a mandatory identification category for Machine Readable Travel Documents as specified in ICAO Document 9303
‘X’ indicates the passport holder’s sex as ‘’Unspecified’’
‘X’ Passports [or passports that display an alternative non gender-specific character] are allowed for in Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, India, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nepal, Pakistan, and Uruguay.
The UK recognises ‘X’ Passports issued in another country as a valid travel document at border control points
 

Twitter @ChristieElanCan

CAMPAIGNING UPON A PRINCIPLE OF LEGITIMATE IDENTITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

Sep. 19th, 2019

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure




National Diversity Awards 2019

I’m looking forward to the Awards ceremony tomorrow – Friday 20 September – and before I head to Liverpool I wanted to document some of my thoughts.
It is an amazing privilege to be shortlisted for the 2019 National Diversity Lifetime Achiever Award and I’m sure the ceremony will be equally amazing, however for me the most important thing is that I will attend the ceremony as myself and not as gendered society would prefer me to be.
The UK Government wants me to be socially invisible, legally non-existent and devoid of all civil rights and currently is going to some lengths to pursue that aim.
For too long the issue that I’ve spent most of my adult life working towards – legitimate identity for people who define as neither male nor female – was perceived to be disingenuous or – even worse – a fad.
Campaigning – indeed fighting - from a position outside the legislative framework, without social visibility, without established cultural reference points and without a platform it was extremely hard to convince anyone – whether it be politicians or the wider public – that the lack of legal recognition for people of non-gendered identity is a genuine and serious human rights violation.
Of course there’s been a considerable amount of progress – that I am shortlisted for an award that I could not have been nominated for just a few years ago is evidence of the progress that has been made. But there is still so far to go – and particularly in the UK where we have a government that is disinterested in trans issues and for whom my existence is an inconvenience.
The whole point of embracing Diversity is that NO ONE is excluded, left behind and punished by society for being who they are.
The Awards Ceremony will be livestreamed from 9:00pm tomorrow - Friday 20 September - on the ITV News YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/ITVNews


Twitter @ChristieElanCan


CAMPAIGNING UPON A PRINCIPLE OF LEGITIMATE IDENTITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT


The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure




UPDATES

I’ve not updated for a while – so just a brief reminder of current campaign issues,


‘X’ PASSPORTS

An appeal hearing has been scheduled for the first week of December 2019. Appeal should last one and a half days to begin either 3rd or 4th December. The exact date will not be announced by the court – not even to me/my legal team – until Monday 2nd December. Location is the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand.


2021 CENSUS FOR ENGLAND AND WALES

I’ve recently visited my current local MP in a bid to secure a last minute change to unacceptable proposals for 2021 Census being put forward by the Office for National Statistics [ONS] to the Cabinet Office.

What I have learned very recently [because no one with whom I’d had extensive conversations on the matter had bothered to tell me] is that the mandatory Sex question is embedded as non amendable within the Census Act 1920.

The Census Act therefore requires amendment before any proposal to include a third, neutral option can be considered.

For the record, my proposal put forward was that the Sex question should be amended to Sex/Gender with three response options,

‘M’ [male], ‘F’ [female] and a neutral option ‘X’ or ‘N’ [to indicate the respondent as being neither or other]

There is no need for an additional, voluntary question as currently proposed by ONS. The voluntary question [along with ONS’ associated guidance to completing the question] is illogical and nothing more than usual government lip service to issues [and sections of society] that it chooses to ignore.

I fear it may be too late to get the Act amended before a census order [statutory instrument] containing ONS’ ridiculous proposals for 2021 Census are laid before Parliament.

But I intend to try!!!


IT IS TIME TO GET RID OF ‘LADIES & GENTLEMEN ……….’

I’ve just received the latest in a line of rebuts from the BBC following my attempt to persuade the UK’s national broadcaster to address this issue,

We have read and noted your points but don’t consider they suggest evidence of a possible breach of standards

The BBC’s management fail to understand that viewers and listeners want to feel we are included when we are collectively being addressed.

This point was understood by Transport for London, the Barbican Centre and other organisations that I’ve contacted in the past.

Our national broadcaster, to whom we pay a licence fee, does not consider that exclusion of a marginalized section of its audience does constitute a breach of standards.

I intend to continue to escalate my complaint and,

CALL TO ACTION!!

Invite anyone who strongly believes that ‘Ladies & Gentlemen ………’ is exclusionary and outdated to complain via email to ecu@bbc.co.uk citing Reference Number CAS-5552696-W5TVSB.

I’d like to hear from anyone currently engaged in similar battles. If you’ve come up against an organisation that refuses to address this particular issue, I’d like you to contact me via this site. Note, you will need to be logged into LiveJournal. You can set up an account HERE.


I will try to update the site more frequently but events tend to overtake etc.

You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook for less detailed but more frequent updates.


Twitter @ChristieElanCan


CAMPAIGNING UPON A PRINCIPLE OF LEGITIMATE IDENTITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT


The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



National Diversity Awards


I’m absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted for 2019 National Diversity Lifetime Achiever Award for my campaign work on ‘X’ Passports and much more besides over a period of nearly 30 years!


Many thanks indeed to all who voted for me.

The 2019 National Diversity Awards ceremony is on Friday 20th September 2019 in Liverpool. Click HERE for more information and tickets.



Twitter @ChristieElanCan


CAMPAIGNING UPON A PRINCIPLE OF LEGITIMATE IDENTITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT


The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure




‘X’ PASSPORTS IN THE UK: THE LEGAL CHALLENGE


A REMINDER THAT THE APPEAL HEARING FOR MY CASE WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE WEEK BEGINNING 2nd DECEMBER 2019.

MY UNDERSTANDING IS THE HEARING WILL RUN INTO TWO DAYS [STARTING EITHER TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY]. EXACT DATES ARE NOT DUE TO BE ANNOUNCED UNTIL THE 2nd DECEMBER, UNFORTUNATELY.



National Diversity Awards


Many thanks indeed to all who voted for my nomination for 2019 National Diversity Lifetime Achiever Award for my campaign work on ‘X’ Passports and much more besides over a period of nearly 30 years!

I was a late nominee with only one week to collect votes before public voting closed therefore not expecting too much. I was completely astounded by the powerful statements and support for my work. Thank-you once again!

A shortlist will be announced on 1st July 2019.


EDM 175

Here is a reminder that EDM 175 calling upon HM Government to change its discriminatory policy on the issuance of ‘X’ Passports is still live ………..

All MPs should be strongly encouraged to support the motion.


Twitter @ChristieElanCan


CAMPAIGNING UPON A PRINCIPLE OF LEGITIMATE IDENTITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT


The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



National Diversity Awards


I am thrilled to have been nominated for Lifetime Achiever Award in upcoming 2019 National Diversity Awards for my campaign work on ‘X’ Passports and much more besides over a period of nearly 30 years!

If my work has made a difference to your life then please VOTE FOR ME

Otherwise, just VOTE FOR ME anyway!

But don’t delay – voting closes Friday 31st May 2019.

Click HERE to vote – Thank-you so much!


Follow on Twitter @ChristieElanCan


LEGITIMATE IDENTITY IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT


The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



‘X’ PASSPORTS IN THE UK: THE LEGAL CHALLENGE

APPEAL HEARING WILL TAKE PLACE OVER TWO DAYS [STARTING EITHER TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY] IN THE WEEK BEGINNING 2nd DECEMBER 2019.

Twitter @ChristieElanCan

CAMPAIGNING UPON A PRINCIPLE OF LEGITIMATE IDENTITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure



NEWS RELEASE _____________________________________________________________

08/11/2018

'X' PASSPORTS IN THE UK: JUDICIAL RULING APPEAL

CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE versus THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT

The Court of Appeal has granted Christie Elan-Cane [the Appellant] permission to appeal against High Court ruling handed down on 22 June 2018

This case challenges the lawfulness of HM Government’s policy that stipulates UK issued passports must display an ‘M’ or ‘F’ character; and stipulates that passport applicants must indicate themselves as either ‘M’ or ‘F’ on their application. HM Government refuses to issue non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports to British citizens who define as neither male nor female

The 22 June ruling observed the Claimant’s rights under ECHR Article 8 [Right to respect for private and family life] were triggered in this case ‘’ ….. I am satisfied that the claimant’s Article 8 rights are engaged in this case so that the claimant’s right to respect for private life will include a right to respect for the claimant’s identification as non-gendered.’’

In granting permission to appeal the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Bean referred to the general importance of the issue raised in this case as a compelling reason for this appeal to be heard

HM Government’s passport policy and its effects:

Government policy requires that applicants for a UK passport must indicate whether they are male or female in a signed declaration;
The mandatory requirement that UK passport applicants must indicate a gender affords no provision for individuals whose identities are neither male nor female;
The UK Home Office refuses to issue passports that display a non gender-specific ‘X’ character rather than ‘M’ or ‘F’ [‘X’ Passports];
Passport applicants whose identities are neither male nor female are subject to a discriminatory policy that fails to acknowledge their existence;
Current policy forces individuals whose identities are neither male nor female to deny a profound aspect of their identity whilst making a declaration known by the individual to be false;
Current policy forces individuals in this category to carry a document for the purposes of travel and identification that is a gross misrepresentation [rather than an affirmation] of their identity;
Current policy enforced by the UK Home Office causes distress and humiliation to individuals whose social invisibility is further compounded;
Passport data is used by institutions [eg. financial service providers] to establish a person’s identity with the effect that other documentation and personal records held on non-gendered individuals is often inaccurate and misrepresentative.

The global position:

‘X’ Passports are compliant with international standards for machine readable travel documents [See Notes];
‘X’ Passports are recognised by governing authorities and issued to citizens in a growing number of countries [See Notes];
‘X’ Passports issued in other countries are recognised as valid travel documents by border personnel at the UK’s national border control areas.

Christie Elan-Cane has campaigned for more than 25 years to achieve legal and social recognition for non-gendered identity;
Christie has engaged with politicians and sought to raise awareness of the issues surrounding non-gendered identity within various government departments over a number of years;
Christie approached Clifford Chance LLP and subsequently instigated legal proceedings against the UK Government’s passport policy because the political process was exhausted and had failed;
Christie is not seeking special treatment however does seek to be treated fairly.

Christie is represented, on a pro-bono basis, by Kate Gallafent QC and Tom Mountford of Blackstone Chambers and a team of solicitors at Clifford Chance LLP.

Quote:
Christie Elan-Cane: ‘’Legitimate identity is a fundamental human right but non-gendered people are often treated as though we have no rights.
This issue was always significant due to the overarching negative impact that lack of recognition [for one’s identity] has on non-gendered peoples’ lives.
The UK Government’s passport policy negates the identities of citizens who define as neither male nor female. The policy is discriminatory and must be overturned.
I am relieved that this important case can now be taken forward.’’

Clifford Chance Press Release 08/11/2018
https://www.cliffordchance.com/news/news/2018/11/clifford-chance-to-appeal-court-refusal-to-find-uk-passport-gend.html

-----------------------------------------------------
Notes:
‘X’ Passports comply to UN International Civil Aviation Organisation [ICAO] accepted standards contained in ICAO Document 9303
‘M’, ‘F’ and ‘X’ are permitted characters for mandatory ‘Sex’ identification category for Machine Readable Travel Documents specified in ICAO Document 9303
‘X’ indicates the passport holder’s sex as ‘’Unspecified’’
‘X’ Passports [or passports that display an alternative non gender-specific character] are currently issued in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, Malta, Germany, India, Pakistan, Nepal and The Netherlands
‘X’ Passports [issuance thereof] currently under consideration by the Republic of Ireland Government

Twitter @ChristieElanCan

CAMPAIGNING UPON A PRINCIPLE OF LEGITIMATE IDENTITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure


‘X’ PASSPORTS IN THE UK: THE LEGAL CHALLENGE

The Court of Appeal has granted me permission to appeal against the High Court ruling earlier this year in my case against HM Government’s discriminatory passport policy.

Leave to appeal was granted on the basis of the general importance of the issues raised in the case to the public interest.


More info can be found HERE

Further details to be announced in due course ………………………

Twitter @ChristieElanCan

CAMPAIGNING UPON A PRINCIPLE OF LEGITIMATE IDENTITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered
CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE
NON-GENDERED
Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure




‘X’ PASSPORTS IN THE UK: THE APPEAL

It is my intention to appeal last June’s judicial review ruling that HM Government’s passport policy [administered by HM Passport Office] does not amount to unlawful discrimination.

The appeals process is similar to the first stage judicial review process in that permission has to be applied for and granted by the court in order for a case to proceed.

There are various stages and, with the same legal team, we are currently still engaged in the process.

I will update as soon as possible. Keep watching this space!


Twitter @ChristieElanCan

CAMPAIGNING UPON A PRINCIPLE OF LEGITIMATE IDENTITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

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