The British government’s rules on gender-neutral passports are “unlawful” and breach human rights, Judges at the Court of Appeal have heard.
Judges are hearing the case of campaigner Christie Elan-Cane, who was born female but identifies as ‘non-gendered, wants passports to have an “X” category for those who do not identify as either male nor female.
The BBC reports: The campaigner believes the UK’s passport process is “inherently discriminatory”.
Lawyers representing the home secretary are contesting the legal challenge.
The case centres on whether the current policy run by the UK passport office – which is part of the Home Office – is lawful.
Currently, all UK passport holders have to specify whether they are male or female.
Christie Elan-Cane believes the policy breaches the right to respect for private life, and the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of gender or sex, under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The campaign for recognition of non-gendered identity in UK law and society started more than 25 years ago.
Last year, a High Court challenge calling for gender-neutral passports was lost but the case has now been taken to the Court of Appeal.
On Tuesday, Christie Elan-Cane’s lawyer, Kate Gallafent, told the three judges: “There is little which is more fundamental and deeply personal than an individual’s gender identity.”
She said those affected by the government’s current passport rules “face a choice between the degrading experience of applying for, bearing and using a passport that does not accurately reflect their gender identity, or forgoing the use of a passport at all.”
People who do not consider themselves as exclusively male or female include members of the trans community and intersex people.
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