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LGBT+ Lib Dems pleased with Home Office Progress on Passports

September 20, 2011 11:56 PM
British passport

British passports could have gender markers removed

Members of the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats were today pleased with news that the Home Office will be reviewing current rules on gender markers on passports. Executive members of the body have been lobbying the party and Government Equalities Office on this topic since the coalition was formed.

Sarah Brown, chair of the LGBT+ LibDems Transgender Working Group, said "There's no more reason for a gender marker to be on a passport than there is on, say, a gas bill. Those who have a mismatch between their presentation and their gender marker, however, can face real discrimination and even physical harm because of it."

LGBT+ Liberal Democrats Chair, Adrian Trett, said "This is a very welcome announcement and further enhances gender neutrality and people's privacy."

And Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert, who successfully argued against Labour's attempts to retain Identity Cards for just Transgender people
after last year's general election, spoke from the Liberal Democrats conference in Birmingham. "There does not seem to be a need for identify
documents of any kind to have gender information. Military ID, such as the MOD90, which obviously can have quite a high security clearance, contains no gender information. That might be what we should look at."

ENDS

Contacts:

  • Zoe O'Connell, Executive, zoe.oconnell@delga.org.uk, 07932 679179


Notes to editors

  • LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, formed in 1989 following the merger of the Liberal and SDP parties, is the official LGBT organisation of the Liberal Democrats.
  • The announcement from the Home Office is a wide ranging review including the use of gender markers on passports, which are currently restricted to just "M" and "F".
  • The Australian government announced last week that it would allow Transsexual people to use the correct gender marker on their passports, something that is already available in the UK, and that "X" for unspecified will also become an option in a limited set of circumstances.