Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure
100 MP SIGNATORIES EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR A MOTION THAT CALLS UPON THE UK GOVERNMENT FOR PROVISION OF NON GENDER-SPECIFIC ‘X’ PASSPORTS FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT DEFINE AS EITHER MALE OR FEMALE
A MONUMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT AND HM PASSPORT OFFICE’S DISCRIMINATORY POLICY IS EVIDENTLY UNSUSTAINABLE
EARLY DAY MOTION (EDM) 660 was tabled in November 2015 by Norman Lamb MP (Liberal Democrats: North Norfolk). The fourth in a series of EDMs tabled by MPs over the last three parliamentary sessions. I approached Norman Lamb late in the day and I was, to be honest, doubtful whether the 100+ target of MP signatures could be achieved within the timescale before close of 2015-16 session. The predecessor EDM 47 was tabled very early in the previous session and signed by 80 MPs which was incredible given that ‘X’ PASSPORTS and the wider surrounding issue were still very much under the radar at the beginning of this decade. The purpose of EDMs was keep the issue ‘alive’ within the political arena after it became evident the government was determined to close it down. EDM 660 successfully built upon support for the issue expressed by MPs in previous sessions. The 2015-16 session closed last week and EDM 660 had 100 MP signatures on the register – going right to the wire and it does appear the signatory register was closed earlier than scheduled because some signatures that I’d been reliably advised were in the system did not filter through. Nonetheless the target was achieved and everyone who helped to make it happen can be proud.
I profoundly thank all MPs who added their signature to the motion. You are all very much on THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY!
I want to acknowledge the motion was supported by the late Harry Harpham MP whose signature was removed from the EDM 660 signatory register following his death earlier this year. And note the actual number of signatories to EDM 660 tabled in the 2015-16 parliamentary session is 101.
I want to express my sincere and deepest thanks to the legion of parliamentary support staff who responded so positively to my approaches and often personally ensured EDM 660 got the attention of MPs. I thoroughly appreciate all your support and help over the last few weeks and months.
Many thanks to all the bloggers and tweeters spreading the word and, finally, a big thank-you to everyone who contacted their local parliamentary representative to encourage support for the motion (I appreciate this is daunting for some people and that responses can be unprofessional and extremely disheartening).
100 signatures – breakdown of signatories and political parties:
Scottish National Party: 46
Labour Party: 37
Liberal Democrats: 5
Conservative Party: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Social Democratic and Labour Party: 2
Ulster Unionist Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Independent MP: 2
Ministers, shadow cabinet, PPS etc. do not sign EDMs (and some backbench MPs choose not to sign EDMs, which is not helpful given the significance of EDMs in raising the consciousness of important issues that would otherwise be ignored). The EDMs were fundamental in keeping ‘X’ PASSPORTS ‘alive’ within the parliamentary arena after the government attempted to bury the need for their introduction. ‘X’ PASSPORTS are, as anyone who has followed my campaign should be aware, symbolic to the much wider surrounding issue of the social exclusion experienced by people who do not identify as either male or female within a gendered societal structure. The issue has been ignored by successive governments for decades as general policy and the entire legislative framework is bound within gendered terminology that supports and reinforces the notion of gender to the detriment of those who do not and cannot define their identity as either male or female.
Due to the anomalies it is not possible to get an accurate breakdown percentage of support within the main parties compared against overall parliamentary representation. It is nonetheless evident that the Scottish National Party are key allies. The Labour Party also generally supports the motion. I will mention here that some Labour backbencher signatories to EDM 47 in 2014-15 session are now in the Shadow Cabinet and have sent messages expressing ongoing support. The Liberal Democrats continue to support although with drastically reduced number of MPs (and the EDM was tabled by a LibDem MP). 100% support for the issue from Plaid Cymru and Green Party within Parliament. Good to see support emerging from Social Democratic and Labour Party and Ulster Unionist Party. The Conservative Party’s low figure was predictable and the three Conservative Party signatures were much appreciated. I must point out again there are a number of MPs who do not sign EDMs and many of these are in the governing party. I have had messages of support from Conservative MPs.
There is a hardcore element hovering around the parliamentary circles who will never accept non-gendered people as human beings with the same unequivocal right to legitimate identity as anyone else – although they were never elected to represent. See Trans* Equality: The Enemy Within.
And there is another EDM on the way!
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The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered