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Passports: Hughes calls for a third option

December 18, 2013 10:04 AM
Simon Hughes MP at conference podium

Simon Hughes MP

Simon Hughes MP, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader in the House of Commons, has tabled an Early Day Motion to give non-binary gender identities respect and recognition in law through allowing neutral "X" UK passports as an alternative to those marked "F" or "M".

Early day motion 889, "Legal Recognition For Those Who Do Not Associate With A Particular Gender", reads:

That this House recognises the issues faced by those in the UK who identify themselves as non-gender, bi-gender or intersex; believes that many of those who are non-gendered or bi-gendered feel compromised and diminished as a result of inappropriate gender references on their personal identity information; acknowledges that all passports issued by HM Passport Office are currently gender-specific and it is therefore not possible to obtain a passport that contains no reference to gendered identity; understands that, alongside F (Female) and M (Male), the International Civil Aviation Organisation's Document 9303 already contains X (unspecified) as a permitted character for three permitted characters under the mandatory sex element for machine-readable travel documents; notes that this week Germany introduced a policy enabling citizens to obtain a non-gender specific X passport, that a similar policy is already in operation in Australia and New Zealand and that India, Nepal and Pakistan also recognise the legitimacy of X as a preferred option when M and F are not appropriate; further believes that allowing this possibility in the UK would go a long way to amend this discriminatory policy which denies non-gendered and bi-gendered people a legitimate identity; and therefore urges the Government and HM Passport Office to make non-gender-specific X passports available to those UK passport holders who do not identify with a particular gender.

You can check who has signed the EDM here. Please encourage your MP to sign if they have not already done so.