Should passports be gender-neutral? | Hudson McKenzie

Should passports be gender-neutral?

April 19, 2018 | Immigration, Latest Thinking, News

A new legal challenge claims that by the UK refusing the issuing of gender-neutral passports, Human Rights are being dramatically violated.

Following from this, the High Court will process a judicial review of the UK Home Office’s decision to deny the issuing of gender neutral passports, which has been labelled as ‘unlawful’ since the announcement.

At present, the passport application process requires that the applicant select either ‘male’ or ‘female’ as their gender status. However, it has been argued that due to the rise of individuals associating with neither gender, preferring the title of ‘non-binary’ as an example instead, the application process for passports could be viewed as highly discriminatory.

One of the Human Rights speculated to be targeted in this decision is regarding the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), in which by not allowing for gender neutral passports means that individuals can be argued to be discriminated against upon the basis of their gender.

Furthermore, by not having gender neutral passports, individuals who are gender neutral are having to make false claims regarding their gender, which can cause further distress. The refusal for this issuing has also been compared to the forcing of a homosexual man to claim that he is straight when making an application, which would be highly discriminatory against that individuals sexual orientation.

Therefore, as the issuing of gender-neutral passports would not require any changes in UK law, in which the ‘X-Passports’ would also be recognised internationally, was the decision of the UK to refuse this issuing really warranted? Is it a great violation of Human Rights to not recognise the real identity of what an individual may claim to identify with, in favour of more ‘politically correct’ terminology?

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Author: Portia Vincent-Kirby