UK high court holds hearing on 'genderless' passports

The UK high court is holding a hearing to review the government’s gender policy for passports. Male and female are the only gender options but a third category may be introduced if a UK campaigner wins an upcoming legal battle on April 18-19.

At the helm of the legal challenge is Christie Elan-Cane, who was born female but identifies as gender-neutral (neither male nor female), and has been campaigning for 25 years to have “genderless” people recognized in British passports.

Genderless passports are already in circulation in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Germany, Malta, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ireland and Canada where those who identify as neither male nor female have their gender symbolized with an ‘X’ in their passports.

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The 60-year-old campaigner, who runs a blog about her quest for ‘X’ passports, said it was “degrading” to have to work to achieve a “legitimate identity” that most people take for granted in gendered society.

Narind Singh, a partner at Clifford Chance, the law firm representing Elan-Cane, said genderless passports were “a crucial step” in protecting the rights of genderless people.

Elan-Cane said on Twitter on April 19 that a decision will be made by the court in a “few weeks.”

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