In 2014, a group of trans organisations came together to produce a "Trans Manifesto" - a document asking political parties to commit to better equality for trans people. We are pleased that these "asks of political parties" were already items under discussion as part of the latest equalities paper, and were debated, voted on and passed as policy of the entire Liberal Democrat party in Autumn 2014.
The first request is for "A commitment to include positive images of trans individuals in all Central Government publications to increase the visibility of our communities". Liberal Democrat policy states:
- "There is still too little awareness of the transgender community and the issues surrounding transgender communities are very often misunderstood. With this in mind a priority is to raise awareness of transgender people. To set an example in doing so Government should lead the way. A Liberal Democrat government would commit to including positive images of transgender individuals in central government publications, to increase the visibility of transgender communities."
The Trans Manifesto also asks for "a commitment to review the Gender Recognition Act 2004, with a view to loosening medial requirements and removal of the spousal veto". Liberal Democrat policy states:
- "Liberal Democrats have championed equal marriage and we want to make sure it applies to everyone, but this is not currently the case for transgender people. The Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) requires that someone seeking legal recognition of their gender obtains written consent from a spouse, and allows a spouse to have a marriage voided if someone had obtained gender recognition prior to being married. These spousal vetoes on marriage are an area of much concern for the transgender community and we believe the law should be reviewed with the intention of removing them."
- "The drafting of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) required that those seeking legal recognition of their gender obtain a medical diagnosis of 'gender dysphoria'. This diagnosis explicitly excludes those with intersex conditions, meaning that anyone whose gender was incorrectly identified or unable to be determined at birth is unable to obtain legal recognition. We would support an update of the GRA to be more inclusive by removing the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria."
- "Many marriages have already been annulled to enable people to obtain gender recognition under the regime in place prior to the passage of the Same-Sex Marriage Act. It is not right that people were forced out of marriage by law against the desires of both partners just because one partner has transitioned. In reviewing the GRA, we would put a mechanism in place to allow couples, where one partner has transitioned, to reinstate their marriages with the consent of both partners."
The full party policy document containing the above statements is available for download here.