The UK government are all over the place on gender recognition at the moment, one day proposing removing the gender marker from passports and driving licences and the next calling for self determination of legal gender but without recognition for non binary people.
I think it’s useful, at this point, to have a set of demands against which we can measure any proposals and use to push for more from them. Here’s my list of what needs to be in a new gender recognition act, at the very least.
Fast, simple, self determination of legal gender for all people.
This means that you should be able to have your gender changed on all documentation, including your birth certificate(and adoption certificates), simply by completing and returning a (free) form, or through a deed poll like system.
Ireland and many other countries already offer systems like this, and it’s not an unreasonable demand.
This system must be available for all trans people, including those under 16(with the minimum parental involvement legally possible, and judicial appeal options if this is impossible), and irrespective of citizenship. This change must be fast, and not require any evidence other than your signature to say so.
Complete recognition of non binary identities on documentation
Non-binary people are receiving more and more recognition across the board, with councils and other institutions allowing people to use the Mx title and recognising them in resources.
Non binary recognition means the option to self define your gender outside of the man/woman binary, and to allow you to refuse to define it.
The ongoing fight for documentation by non binary people has been going on far too long, and the opportunity presented by the inquiry is a once-in-ten-years event.
Non binary recognition, including the X marker on passports and more liberal measures(such as freeform options on other documentation) are a must from legislation this time.
No government list of trans people
The current gender recognition legislation has created the gender recognition register, a list of every trans person who’s received legal recognition of their gender.
A list of a vulnerable group of people is a dangerous thing to be held anywhere, at risk of getting left on a memory stick on a train, “procured” by a tabloid journalist, or used to systematically discriminate against trans people by a future government.
This list is nominally to allow people to receive birth certificates(and adoption certificates) in their new name and gender, but people could instead be added to the original list of births, with no indicator of their trans status, under the year of their birth, using the process for late registrations.
No list should be kept of trans people. This endangers our lives and our identities, and must end.
Automatic agreement with oversees gender recognition
The current system only allows gender recognition to be carried with a person when they travel or migrate if the process they went through is more stringent than the united kingdoms system.
All gender recognition systems must be accepted automatically, with minimum involvement by the applicant, the moment their gender is changed in one country, this recognition should be legally valid in the uk.
End the spousal veto
Current legislation allows married trans people to be prevented from having their gender recognised if their partner objects to this, often delaying their recognition for years in the case of messy divorces.
Spouses rights can be protected by not re-registering a marriage without the consent of both partners, and giving uncontestable grounds for an annulment.
No forced marriages for those with a civil partnership
If a person in a civil partnership gets gender recognition, their partnership is automatically converted to a marriage.
Many people do not wish to be married to their partner given they had been in a partnership before, and additional demands and connotations of marriage, such as the need for consummation for it to be valid, are not acceptable.
People must be allowed to remain in a civil partnership and still receive gender recognition
End discrimination against those with northern Irish marriages or civil partnerships
People with Northern Irish marriages and civil partnerships must end these before receiving gender recognition, and this is not acceptable. In countries where same sex marriage is not legal, people should not be forced to receive a divorce and then re-obtain a marriage.
Instead, their marriage should be automatically converted into a civil partnership. As above, those in civil partnerships should have the option to remain in a civil partnership.
This list is at least partially copped from the excellent UK trans info submission to the trans inquiry, and with thanks to jess coal for edits and input
thank’s to @em_whiterose for the note on adoption certificates.