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Feb. 27th, 2018

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



‘X’ PASSPORTS IN THE UK

In just under two months’ time the UK Government’s discriminatory passport policy will be the subject of a judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice in London during a two-day hearing that is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, 18 April 2018.

The legal case I am bringing against the UK Home Office represents a significant milestone in my ongoing fight to have my NON-GENDERED IDENTITY recognised on my personal identity documentation and that my identity is acknowledged and respected in all aspects of my life.

I aspire to achieve legitimate identity that most people can take for granted as I aspire to regain privileged civil rights that society reserves for the gendered majority.

My overriding need to not compromise on the validation of my identity meant that I was forced to relinquish many basic civil rights that I’d not regarded as privileges prior to my disclosure but which I now recognise as privileged rights that are both precious and elusive.

The right to legitimate identity is however the most fundamental of all human rights.

The fundamental right to legitimate identity is no less significant than the right to life itself.

I’ve been engaged in this battle for more than 25 years and what began as a desperate bid for survival within the gendered societal structure metamorphosed into a personal campaign that involved interaction with politicians and the UK Government whilst I was reaching out to agencies and individuals in other parts of the world.

I’ve witnessed a great deal of change over the years as a number of countries have changed their national policies and slowly edged towards recognition and essential provision for citizens whose identities are neither male nor female.

The UK Government has, by contrast, steadfastly refused to address the issue despite that measures to advance LGB and [to a much lesser extent] T equality were delivered over the last decade.

The symbolism of the passport as a key identity document, the provision afforded by the ICAO worldwide governing body and the recognition of non gender-specific ‘X’ by other countries’ national governing administrations propelled ‘X’ Passports as a key focal issue within the wider NON-GENDERED campaign.

The commencement of legal action against the UK Government was the only option that remained open for me after engagement through the political process was exhausted and had ultimately failed. It was evident there was no intention on the Government’s part to do anything to address the extraordinary plight of citizens who are denied legitimate identity and condemned to a life of social invisibility, compromise and fear.

I am ably represented by Kate Gallafent QC and Tom Mountford of Blackstone Chambers and my legal team at Clifford Chance. All are working in a pro bono capacity.



EDM 175, tabled by Norman Lamb MP [Liberal Democrat: North Norfolk] is the sixth motion tabled by MPs in five consecutive parliamentary sessions that call upon the UK Government to change its discriminatory policy on the issuance of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports.

MPs across the entire political spectrum had their consciousness raised in regard to the need for ‘X’ Passports within the context of the wider issue through the tabling of Early Day Motions [EDMs] that MPs were strongly encouraged to sign.

Therefore, despite that EDMs have no executive powers, it is important to register as many signatures as possible [no definitive number but generally assumed to be not less than 100] in order that the issue can be selected for parliamentary debate.

The EDMs continue to gather a great deal of support from within the parliamentary arena.

All MPs are urged to add their signatures to EDM 175 in support of ‘X’ Passports in the UK.

I must add that I find it distasteful that my fundamental human right to have my identity recognised by others should be the subject of debate – and I do not hold that there has to be a ‘’conversation’’ as is so often reported – however there was a time not so long ago when I was grateful to see the issue acknowledged by anyone in public life. Anyone at all.

When the parliamentary debate is called I can foresee the recognition of human identity outside the gendered societal structure being rightly perceived as a legitimate human rights issue whose passage into law is long overdue.


GAY STAR NEWS VIDEO FEATURE

Gay Star News recently featured the campaign as my legal team and I prepare for the full judicial review hearing. Feature and accompanying video can be viewed HERE


Legitimate Identity is a Fundamental Human Right

THE FIGHT GOES ON


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

Twitter @ChristieElanCan - for latest updates

Jan. 5th, 2018

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




GAY STAR NEWS VIDEO FEATURE

Gay Star News video feature on my campaign and my ongoing legal case can be found HERE



‘X’ PASSPORTS: JUDICIAL REVIEW

My legal case against the UK Home Office will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand on 18 and 19 April 2018. Further details can be found HERE

I am represented by Kate Gallafent QC and Tom Mountford of Blackstone Chambers and my legal team at Clifford Chance. All are working in a pro bono capacity.



All MPs are urged to add their signatures to EDM 175 in support of ‘X’ PASSPORTS in the UK.


THE FIGHT GOES ON

Twitter @ChristieElanCan - for latest updates


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: JUDICIAL REVIEW FULL HEARING DATES

On 18 and 19 April 2018 there will be a full hearing in London for the judicial review of the UK Government’s policy in regard to the issuance of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports.

The hearing will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Stand.

A High Court judge granted permission to take the case forward at an earlier hearing on 11 October 2017.

More information will follow in due course ……………………………………


The provision of ‘X’ Passports became a pivotal focal point for my campaign due to the importance of the passport as a recognised identity document in addition to its function as a travel document. That ‘X’ Passports already existed, are fully compliant in accordance with international standards, are issued in an ever increasing number of countries and must be recognised at other countries’ national borders had given me reason to believe that my Government would accept the need for their issuance in the UK. The UK Government resisted the need for ‘X’ Passports all the way and had left me with no option other than to bring a case for the judicial review of its discriminatory policy.

Anyone who is interested in the background to the case can find a chronological record of events and further information in the archive section of this site.

Twitter @ChristieElanCan - for latest updates

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: PERMISSION GRANTED FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW OF UK GOVERNMENT POLICY

As everyone must now be aware, on Wednesday 11 October 2017 permission was given by the High Court to take forward my case against the UK Government’s discriminatory passport policy.

The judicial review of the UK’s passport policy as applied to the exclusion of non gender-specific ‘X’ character [denotes the passport holder’s sex as ‘’unspecified’’] can now enter the substantive stage.

Wednesday’s ruling was significant because judicial review applications cannot be proceeded without permission.  While retaining a note of caution that the final outcome cannot be foreseen and that a successful outcome does not automatically lead to policy change I cannot describe how relieved I am that the legal challenge of current discriminatory policy can now finally move forward.

I was taken aback by the level of media interest in the case on the day.

There are too many news reports to list them all but here are some that appeared soon after the decision was announced. Click individual title for article ………………

The Guardian                                  
BBC News
The Evening Standard                  
Metro
PinkNews                                         
Gay Star News
Thomson Reuters                          
The Huffington Post

The decision and reporting on what had led to the legal challenge of the UK Government’s discriminatory passport policy was covered by news outlets from around the world.

Two days after the decision being announced I am still trawling through a mountain of messages [and have almost lost my voice] but I will respond to all journalist enquiries over the coming days. If you are a journalist and want to be alerted as the case progresses towards the next hearing then please send your name, email address and the name of the organisation you represent if applicable. I will add you to my media distribution list.

Finally, once more I want to thank Kate Gallafent QC and Tom Mountford of Blackstone Chambers and my legal team at Clifford Chance for enabling me to launch the case.

And thanks to everyone who’s sent encouraging messages of support over the last few days.

Twitter @ChristieElanCan - for latest updates

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: JUDICIAL REVIEW PERMISSION APPLICATION

A reminder there will be a judicial review permission application hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this coming Wednesday 11 October.

This is an extremely important event for anyone with an interest in changing the UK Government’s discriminatory passport policy. The hearing will determine whether the judicial review application lodged with the courts in July of this year can proceed to a full hearing.

I may have appeared over cautious and pessimistic when I announced the hearing date in my earlier post on 15 September but I did not, and still do not, want to raise false hopes that UK Government policy on ‘X’ Passports can be easily overturned. Throughout several years of political engagement I was offered much that turned out to be nothing at all and I was let down very badly on numerous occasions. I do not want to repeat the mistake of raising expectations only for those expectations to be dealt a crushing blow time and again. Past disappointments should not however lead to preconceived expectations this time around. Many politicians are now onside and the landscape has changed. The UK Government is generally regarded as out of step with policy change in this area being implemented in other countries.

This is the first legal challenge against the UK Government’s discriminatory passport policy administered by HM Passport Office. Despite my cautionary notes there is reasonable possibility that the case for ‘X’ Passports will be viewed favourably given there is evident and persistent inequality of treatment given towards UK passport holders who define as neither male nor female. The case must obtain permission to go to the substantive stage of judicial review. If permission is refused then there is a complicated appeal process that I will not go into right now.

Wednesday 11 October is a significant date that everyone should keep in their diaries.

I will update the site as soon as possible after the hearing. In the meantime …………………………



More than 40 MPs have added their signatures to EDM 175 since tabling by Norman Lamb MP last July. This is an excellent start given that most of the period from tabling until now has been in parliamentary recess [during which time signatures are not registered].

There is every reason to believe the target of 100+ signatures can be achieved within the current session, notwithstanding yet another general election call.

Again, urging all MPs who support this issue and have not signed the motion to reaffirm your support for ‘X’ Passports in the UK for people who do not associate with a particular gender.

If your MP is not on the list, then contact them without delay and urge them to sign EDM 175.

Twitter @ChristieElanCan - for latest updates


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: JUDICIAL REVIEW PERMISSION APPLICATION HEARING DATE ANNOUNCED

I am pleased to inform that a hearing will take place on 11 October 2017 at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, London.

The purpose of this hearing is that the court will decide upon whether permission should be granted for me to apply to the courts for judicial review of HM Passport Office’s discriminatory passport policy that is underpinned by the UK Government’s ongoing refusal to permit the issuance of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports to UK citizens whose identities are neither male nor female.

It has taken a very long time to reach this stage. Those who have followed commentary on this site over many years are aware there is much history to the case. My decision to pursue change through legal avenues was due to the political process having been tried and exhausted as the UK Government evidently had no intention to seriously consider the issue.

I approached the renowned law firm Clifford Chance LLP in 2013 and was accepted by them as a pro bono client. An enormous amount of preparatory work has taken place over the course of the duration in order for me to proceed with this case.

I must stress there is no guarantee the case will be successful and neither is there a guarantee that permission to take the case forward will be given after the hearing on 11 October. All judicial review applications must first obtain the permission of the court in order to proceed.

I am not about to give false hope that current policy will be over turned. A judicial review decision does not automatically enact a change of government policy. The UK Government, under current administration, remains firmly opposed to the issuance [and the principle] of ‘X’ Passports.

A successful judicial review outcome would however highlight the inherent discriminatory nature of current policy that would become increasingly untenable and that successive governments would find hard to justify.

That is all for now. Keep the faith and check back to this site for updates.

@ChristieElanCan - Follow me on Twitter for latest updates

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



NEW EARLY DAY MOTION GOES ‘LIVE’ TODAY

The latest in a series of parliamentary motions in support of ‘X’ Passports in the UK has been tabled and I again express my profound and deepest thanks to Norman Lamb MP.

I must once more request that all MPs are strongly urged to add their signature in support of the motion.

‘That this House recognises the support expressed in previous parliamentary sessions to address the issues faced by people whose identities are neither male nor female; believes that people are 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 British passport that contains no reference to gendered identity; understands that the International Civil Aviation Organisation standard specification for machine-readable travel documents, ICAO Document 9303, permits X unspecified alongside F female and M male, under a mandatory sex category; notes that citizens of Malta, Australia and New Zealand are able to obtain a non gender-specific X passport and that India, Nepal and Pakistan make provision for their citizens when neither M nor F are appropriate; further believes that similar provision is needed in the UK where current discriminatory policy 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 in the UK to people who do not identify with a particular gender.’r EDMs by:


And that other matter I’ve been referring to in recent posts ……………………….

Keep watching this space ……………………….

@ChristieElanCan - Find me on Twitter for latest updates

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

I posted here on 9th April that I hoped very soon to be able to provide a significant update in the long running battle against HM Passport Office and its discriminatory passport policy [that forces UK passport holders to accept a gendered reference – either ‘M’ or ‘F’ – on their passport even when such gendered classification is inappropriate and wrong].

I have not updated the site with ongoing commentary in recent months however this does not mean that I have been complacent in my efforts to challenge the policy and neither should the lack of imparted information be read as an indicator that nothing is happening.

I can only repeat that I hope there can be a significant update soon.

This particular battle against an immovable government institution that has determinedly and wilfully condemned people to social invisibility as it has determinedly and wilfully failed to recognise the legitimacy – and the reality – of non-gendered identity has taken far, far too long.

In the meantime, anyone who wants to learn more about the history and a whole catalogue of underhand and somewhat sinister measures undertaken in recent years by HM Passport Office [and the UK Government] with the sole purpose to bury ‘X’ Passports and the wider needs of those who require them can scroll back through the site’s archives.


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

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



‘X’ PASSPORTS IN THE UK

It has taken a long, long time for me to be in a position where I can provide an update on the fundamental battle against HM Passport Office’s discriminatory passport policy.

I do hope finally to provide a significant update very soon – keep reading this site for further info.

In the meantime EDM 11 calling upon the UK Government to make provision for non gender-specific ‘X’ PASSPORTS is close to reaching the coveted 100 signatures.

All MPs should be urged to support the motion.

@ChristieElanCan - Follow me on Twitter for latest updates

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



RBS GROUP

I’m really pleased to report that the entire RBS Group (includes NatWest and a number of other banks) have removed the requirement for personal customers to enter a gender in order to register to receive online banking services.

NatWest Bank customers can register for online banking here

Customers of other banks within the RBS Group can register on their bank’s website.

I’ve been advised that RBS are striving to further adapt its systems across all areas of banking provision in co-ordination with other banking service providers in order to make provision for customers who do not define their identity as either male or female.

Many thanks to Marc and the team at RBS for their continuing work on this significant issue.


PARLIAMENTARY EARLY DAY MOTION (EDM) 11

EDM 11 tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb calls upon the UK Government to follow the lead taken by countries that permit the issuance of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports.

More than 70 MPs have signed the motion so far and I’m assured that more signatures are on the way.

It is essential that EDM 11 achieves not less than 100 signatures to stand any chance of a parliamentary debate being held that is devoted specifically to the subject of ‘X’ Passports.

EDMs have no executive powers yet they can be highly effective in drawing political and public attention to important issues that would otherwise get ignored.

All MPs should be encouraged to support EDM 11. Is your MP on the list? You can find out here

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

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