Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure
Something amazing happened on 15 April 2014. Judgment in the Supreme Court of India upheld that trans* people should enjoy full civil and human rights that have traditionally been denied.
More so that the Court recognised the rights of those who do not define as either male or female and has ruled in favour of legal recognition of a ‘third’ category and full constitutional protection.
It is interesting that history is cited more than once in reference to pre colonial rule where sections within Indian society such as the Hijra were once revered until brutally criminalised and denied basic human rights by their western oppressors. It is referenced that basic amenities, such as public bathroom provision, are off-limits to those who do not define as male or female. I raised this same matter with the United Kingdom government during my short period of ‘engagement’ and the idea of “special” provision was largely dismissed (although I did keep trying and will continue to do so).
The Supreme Court judgment cites the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Constitution of India and makes reference to the neutrality of language used in Articles from both documents that apply in this case.
Here is the full text of judgment. And I shall be speaking with my legal advisors very soon.
With the exception of Articles that apply to marriage, neutrality is maintained in the wording throughout these two documents.
Readers of this site are probably familiar with Norrie’s case. Norrie has been working for at least as long as I have (and maybe longer) to achieve the ‘right’ to remove inappropriate gendered references from per documentation. Some years ago Norrie was permitted to amend the birth certificate by the NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and then permission was cruelly revoked in a very public case that resulted in Norrie taking legal action against the state authority.
Norrie’s persistence has now paid off with a landmark judgment in the High Court of Australia
And not to forget the decision in March 2014 of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Assembly to recognise the right of all trans* and intersex to amend the birth certificate and replace with ‘X’ http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/03/20/australia-act-assembly-approves-new-gender-identity-birth-certificate-rules-trans-intersex-people/
Whitehouse Petition now over 100,000 signatures required for a debate
Unsurprisingly, this has had no publicity at all in the UK – I am not familiar with how things work in the States but will track this with interest. The USA does not currently permit ‘X’ passports to be issued to its own citizens (although the USA has an international obligation to recognise the document as valid when presented by travellers from countries that do), and the outcome of a debate on the issue could have significant impact on the UK and the rest of Europe.
The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered