A campaigner has lost a Court of Appeal challenge over gender-neutral passports, or “X” passports, meaning “unspecified”.
Christie Elan-Crane had launched the legal battle claiming that the UK’s passport application process requiring individuals to indicate whether they are male or female was “inherently discriminatory”.
Lawyers argued that the government’s current policy on gender-neutral passports was “unlawful” and breaches human rights laws.
But senior judges dismissed the appeal in a ruling this morning.
Elan-Cane has fought for legal and social recognition for non-gendered identity for more than 25 years.
Following the decision, they said the decision was “devastating”, adding: “Justice delayed is justice denied”.
In an online statement they wrote: “Legitimate identity is a fundamental human right but non-gendered people are treated as though we have no rights.
“It is unacceptable that someone who defines as neither male nor female is forced to declare an inappropriate gender in order to obtain a passport.”
“This decision is devastating to me. It is bad news for everyone who cannot obtain a passport without the requirement imposed by the UK government that they should collude in their own social invisibility.”
Elan-Cane said their legal will now seek permission for the case to be heard at the Supreme Court.
The case, which was contested by the Home Office, was taken to the Court of Appeal after a judicial review action was dismissed by the High Court in June 2018.
The appeal centred on the lawfulness of the current policy administered by Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO), which is part of the Home Office.
It was argued that the policy breaches the right to respect for private life, and the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of gender or sex, under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
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