Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure
NEWS RELEASE ________________________________________
'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.
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
‘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