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Lavanya Bahuguna


Non-Gendered Activist Christie Elan-Cane Is Fighting To Bring Gender-Neutral Passports To The UK

  • IWB Post
  •  October 11, 2017


Activists who want the UK government to offer gender-neutral passports are making their case before the country’s high court. Activist Christie Elan-Cane is the primary person challenging the U.K. government perception regarding the third-gender.

For now, only 10 countries in the world – Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Ireland, and Nepal – offer the owners to mark themselves as Male (M), female (F), non-gendered or non-specified (X) on their passports.

Christie told The Guardian, “Legitimate identity is a fundamental human right, but non-gendered people are often treated as though we have no rights. The UK’s passport application process requires applicants to declare whether they are male or female. It is inappropriate and wrong that someone who defines as neither should be forced to make that declaration.”

It is interesting to see that because the UN International Civil Aviation Organization has allowed “X” field on passports since 1996, the U.K. cannot do anything but accept passports from foreign citizens who call themselves gender-neutral.

According to Christie, “Despite my cautionary notes, there is reasonable possibility that the case for ‘X’ Passports will be viewed favorably, given there is evident and persistent inequality of treatment given towards UK passport holders who define as neither male nor female.”

Christie began this legal battle around two years ago. Today, the activist’s attorneys will argue that the U.K.’s existing passport policy violates articles 8 and 14 of the European convention on human rights, which prohibit discrimination and mandate the right to private and family life.

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