Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure
EARLY DAY MOTION 47
EDM No. 47 has achieved 50 signatures so far and on course to achieve 100+ before end of this parliamentary session on the basis the motion is allowed to run for the full course (ie. is not ‘suspended’ for any reason).
An unprecedented level of support from within Parliament for an issue that had made it into the government action plan on trans* equality but remained taboo throughout, and that inevitably had led to an ultimate and unequivocal rejection of ‘X’ passports by the government and HM Passport Office. At one point ‘X’ passports were critically at risk of being buried by the government on the basis that those who are affected by this issue are socially invisible, denied legitimate identity and denied a platform and the means to present our case to a wider society.
That 50 Members of Parliament are prepared to sign their names to a motion and say that avoidance of this issue is WRONG is significant and an achievement in itself. We need now to aim for 100+ and call for a full parliamentary debate. It is time to claim our legitimate place within society!
LEGAL RECOGNITION FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH A PARTICULAR GENDER
“That this House recognises the issues faced by those in the UK who identify themselves as non-gender, bi-gender or intersex; believes that many of those who are non-gendered or bi-gendered feel compromised and diminished as a result of inappropriate gender references on their personal identity information; acknowledges that all passports issued by HM Passport Office are currently gender-specific and it is therefore not possible to obtain a passport that contains no reference to gendered identity; understands that, alongside F (Female) and M (Male), the International Civil Aviation Organisation's Document 9303 already contains X (unspecified) as a permitted character for three permitted characters under the mandatory sex element for machine-readable travel documents; notes that in Australia and New Zealand citizens are able to obtain a non-gender specific X passport and that India, Nepal and Pakistan also recognise the legitimacy of X as a preferred option when M and F are not appropriate; further believes that allowing this possibility in the UK would go a long way to amend this discriminatory policy which denies non-gendered and bi-gendered people a legitimate identity; and therefore urges the Government and HM Passport Office to make non-gender-specific X passports available to those UK passport holders who do not identify with a particular gender.”
Is your MP on the list of signatories? http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/47
‘X’ PASSPORTS AS A PARTY POLICY ISSUE
I have in recent years focussed my campaign very much on two key issue points (i) ‘X’ passports and (ii) the discriminatory Equality Act 2010 that requires urgently to be amended in order that all trans* and intersex people are afforded the same protection that is universally afforded to other identified sections of society and covered under the Act.
Amending an Act of Parliament would necessarily equate a change to the law whereas the introduction of ‘X’ passports for the benefit of UK passport holders who do not define as either male or female is an administrative matter and does not require legislative amendment in order to implement the change.
In previous discussions with various political figures from within the Liberal Democrat Party I have argued that both of these key issue points should become official party policy. And now, quietly, and without fanfare, at least one of the issue points has made it into Policy Paper 120: ‘Expanding Opportunity, Unlocking Potential’ which will be presented at Autumn Conference 2014.
Full document (scroll to item 3.2.8 on page 67):
It would have been preferable for the issue to have been more prominent and widespread within the document (eg. inclusion of a reference to this issue under section covering the discriminatory Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, and a reference under the following short section that covered legal recognition for intersex people where there are shared concerns as many trans* people were excluded from protection afforded by the highly discriminatory Gender Recognition Act 2004 from which current legislation was devolved).
That aside, it is another first, SIGNIFICANT step that this issue has made it into an official policy document that I sincerely hope merits more than a footnote at conference.
I understand the paper will be debated at conference on Monday 6 October from 3:45pm to 5:15pm.
The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered