Ahead of International Non-Binary People’s Day [Tuesday 14th July], Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Christine Jardine will present a Private Members’ Bill in the House of Commons to require the Government to introduce an ‘X’ gender option on passports.
Christine Jardine’s ‘Non-gender-specific Passports Bill’, supported by Stonewall, would “require the Secretary of State to make non-gender-specific passports available to non-gendered, non-binary and other people who do not identify as, or exclusively as, male or female.”
This change would bring the UK into line with other countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, Germany, India, Netherlands and New Zealand that already include non-binary gender options on passports, as well as 18 US states that allow residents to mark gender ‘X’ on their driving licence.
In 2016, Parliament’s cross-party Women and Equalities Committee said that “The UK must follow Australia’s lead in introducing an option to record gender as ‘X’ on a passport.” However, the Government refused to implement that recommendation. In March, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Home Office’s refusal to introduce an ‘X’ gender option is not unlawful.
Ahead of the presentation of her Bill, Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:
“There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK who do not identify as exclusively male or female, but the Conservative Government still refuses to give them the dignity of recognising their identities.
“Introducing an ‘X’ gender option on passports is a relatively small change that would make a big difference to so many people’s lives. I find it utterly incomprehensible that this Conservative Government still refuses to follow the example of so many other countries and make this change.
“Liberal Democrats will always stand up for the rights and dignity of trans, intersex and non-binary people. We must combat the hostility and discrimination that prevents too many people from living freely and fulfilling their potential.”
Nancy Kelley, Chief Executive of Stonewall, added:
“It’s vital that non-binary people are able to have their gender recognised on official documents, including passports.
“Travelling abroad can present many challenges for non-binary people, and trans communities more widely, who can face intrusive questions and difficulties at passport control.
“That’s why we urge the Government to include an X category on passports, so non-binary people can have documents that reflect who they are.”