Britain’s Supreme Court rejects efforts to introduce gender-neutral passports

Dec 15, 2021: The UK Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected attempts to introduce gender-neutral passports, saying “X” gender marks would harm a legal system that is clearly designed to divide men and women.

Proponents for change called the ruling “demeaning” and “dehumanising”, noting that Britain had now parted ways with a slew of countries that recognise gender-neutral documents.

According to a report by Reuters, Christie Elan-Kane, who has been trying to get a passport with “X” instead of “M” or “F” since 1995, said the case would be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Kane says there is no justice in the UK and that it is demeaning and dehumanising to force a human being to accept a forced gender assignment.

The ruling comes after the United States joined a dozen other countries, including India, Australia and Iceland, in issuing its first passport with an “X” gender marker in October.

Supreme Court president wrote in a unanimous ruling that the government’s aims of preserving security, reducing costs and “maintaining a coherent approach to issues of gender across the law and administration are legitimate”. The Supreme Court said there was no legislation for people who fell in neither category.

“Perhaps most importantly, there is not the obvious discrepancy between the appellant’s physical appearance and the ‘F’ marker in the appellant’s passport,” the Supreme Court ruling said.

The Home Office, the ministry responsible for passports, welcomed the ruling in an emailed statement.

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