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Campaigner wins legal right to challenge UK to demand ‘genderless’ passports

Court grants permission for a full hearing on the issue of the right to respect for individual’s identity

Gulf News

LONDON: A campaigner was granted permission on Wednesday to take the British government to the high court as part of a 25-year long fight to have UK passports recognise people who don’t identify as male or female.

Christie Elan-Cane, who was born female but identifies as “non-gendered”, is pushing for a third option on passports for genderless people, which is usually symbolised by an ‘x’ on travel documents and birth certificates.

The case was brought before the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday and will now proceed to a full hearing, according to London-based law firm Clifford Chance, which has represented Elan-Cane since 2013.

“We are delighted that the Court has granted permission for a full hearing of this significant public interest case on the fundamentally important issue of the right to respect for individual’s identity,” Narind Singh, a partner at Clifford Chance, said in a statement.

“X-passports are a crucial step in the protection of the human rights of this group of individuals.” It is the first legal challenge against the Home Office’s (interior ministry) passport policy.

A Home Office spokesperson previously told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an email “it would be inappropriate to comment on ongoing legal proceedings”.

If Britain were to issue genderless passports, it would join Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Germany, Malta, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ireland and Canada.

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