ONTD Political

The gender-free British passport: UK travellers may no longer have…

11:58 am - 09/21/2011
The gender-free British passport: UK travellers may no longer have to declare their sex, to spare feelings of 'transgender people'

Britain is preparing to rip up centuries-old rules by introducing passports which do not contain details of the holder’s sex.

The move, following pressure from the Lib Dems, is designed to spare transgender people and those who have both male and female sexual organs from having to tick ‘male’ or ‘female’ on their travel papers.

Currently, everybody must identify themselves as a man or woman, even when they are undergoing a sex-change operation or if they are considered ‘intersex’.

But with the Lib Dems promising to be ‘fierce champions of equality’, the Home Office has begun a consultation on changing the rules.

To satisfy international laws, the passport would still list a category titled ‘sex’, but would then contain a simple ‘X’ for everybody.

Supporters say it will solve the problem of embarrassing situations at border controls, where people whose sex appears to differ from that in their passport are grilled for long periods by guards.

But some Home Office officials are concerned the change could make life harder for the already stretched UK Border Agency by giving them one fewer piece of information to work from.

Last night, the Home Office said: ‘We are exploring with international partners and relevant stakeholders the security implications of gender not being displayed in the passport.’

Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone is under pressure to act from her fellow Lib Dem MPs.

One backbench MP, Julian Huppert, said: ‘There does not seem to be a need for identity documents of any kind to have gender information. It is not a very good biometric; it is roughly a 50:50 split. Military ID, such as the MOD90, which obviously can have quite a high security clearance, contains no gender information. That might be what we should look at.’

Mrs Featherstone – who has just announced plans for gay weddings – has made a string of promises committing the Government to do more for transgender people.

She said: ‘The UK Government is totally committed to creating a society that is fair for everyone.

‘We are committed to tackling prejudice and discrimination against transgender people at home and around the world. We need concerted government action to tear down barriers and help to build a fairer society for transgender people.’

And she said in a speech on Saturday: ‘While on my travels as a champion for women’s rights, I am and will be a champion for gay rights too. Britain must not get complacent. We are a world leader for gay rights, but… there is still more that we must do.’

Under existing rules, a ‘transgender’ person undergoing a sex-swap is free to change their identity to a new sex, once the procedure is complete and a gender recognition certificate has been issued.

While undergoing a sex change, a person can also nominate their intended new sex, and place that on their passport. They must produce a certificate from a doctor saying that is the gender under which they live their daily lives.

But people who are classed as intersex – a condition which people carry from birth, where they have male and female reproductive organs – are forced to make a choice.

Home Office officials say the review is wide-ranging and they are considering ‘all the gender options’.

The law in Britain could be changed in a matter of days. Passports come under the royal prerogative, so only a simple ministerial order would be required.

Last night, an Identity and Passport Service spokesman said: ‘IPS is considering the gender options available to customers in the British passport.

‘This is at the early discussion stage and no decisions have been taken. Any changes to the UK passport would need to satisfy our rigorous security requirements.’

On Saturday, Mrs Featherstone announced the coalition will push ahead with plans to introduce ‘gay marriage’ by 2015. At present, gays and lesbians are allowed to enter civil partnerships, which offer most of the legal protections of marriage. But the term ‘marriage’ is not used.
Source


We don't need another identity crisis

It's a simple equation. If you make things more uncertain, people feel more insecure and vulnerable. We thrive when we know our boundaries, when we know what is true, that something is real, our history and our culture. Knowing who you are - your self-awareness, how you relate to other people including your family - is vital for good mental health and continuity in personal development.

We have before us this morning another example of well-meaning but narrow minded foolishness and relativism. The proposal to remove gender details from an individuals passport will further fuel the identity crisis that is already a significant issue for so many in our country. Pluralism might be fine in a tolerant society but that doesn't mean we should become relative about gender. We need to know who we are - and who our neighbours are too!

We live in a free country and this has enabled a small number of people to define themselves transgender, but their reproductive organs show what is their actual gender. Another tiny proportion are born with "ambiguous genitalia" where post-birth tests have to be carried out to identify the dominant gender. Most doctors advise early surgical and hormonal intervention for the sake of establishing the child's gender identity and sense of belonging in society. A third group suffer from a rare gender-identity-disorder where they feel that they are the opposite sex to the one they were born.

In all these cases the gender can be established, whether an individual likes it or not. We have nothing to gain by introducing more uncertainty into identity. A country that persists in making its laws based on relativism and feelings will become weak, vulnerable and freedom will be lost not gained.
Source

If you want to make a complaint about the article (not sure if you can about the blog post- they'll probably have a thing about it being the woman's own personal opinion), then the Mail's contact page is here, and the Press Complaints Commission's is here.
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
fog_dancer 21st-Sep-2011 11:27 am (UTC)
Supporters say it will solve the problem of embarrassing situations at border controls, where people whose sex appears to differ from that in their passport are grilled for long periods by guards.

Won't that still happen for people who have gone through/are going through sex-change and therefore look differently to their pictures?
chasingtides 21st-Sep-2011 11:41 am (UTC)
It's easier, often, to update the photo on your ID than the gender marker.
splitcomplex 21st-Sep-2011 11:39 am (UTC)
I love the scare quotes around transgender and intersex.

Fail harder, Daily Mail.
barankhy 21st-Sep-2011 11:41 am (UTC)
Fail harder, Daily Mail.
Is that even possible at this point?
...
Okay, obviously, it is, but damn, that is some prime grade fail right there.
lady_deirdre 21st-Sep-2011 11:40 am (UTC)
One backbench MP, Julian Huppert, said: ‘There does not seem to be a need for identity documents of any kind to have gender information. It is not a very good biometric; it is roughly a 50:50 split. Military ID, such as the MOD90, which obviously can have quite a high security clearance, contains no gender information. That might be what we should look at.’ Why is it even important, outside of your dating life, to know what gender someone is? There is as much difference in appearance among people of the same gender, as there is between genders. It holds absolutely no clue useful for identification, so it's useless for security purposes.
devilstay 21st-Sep-2011 11:42 am (UTC)
'We don't need another identity crisis' > 'In all these cases the gender can be established, whether an individual likes it or not'.

I don't think you know what you're writing about, seeing to the fact, that identity problems STEM from a society that forces it's people to chose identifies that they do not want, or are not sure about.

Daily Fail please gtfo, you need to stop.
suzycat 21st-Sep-2011 12:30 pm (UTC)
Did you know it was the Fail from the standfirst? I did. I swear, if the Daily Mail was a person I would want to punch it in the face repeatedly. And I don't hit people.
suzycat 21st-Sep-2011 12:29 pm (UTC)
Damn you and your 'arch quote marks', Daily Bloody Mail.

Gender is a difficult area but dammit, this snide suggestion that there is no such thing as a transgendered or intersexed person WILL NOT DO. EVIL EVIL PAPER.

In other news, fair enough on the passports.
splitcomplex 21st-Sep-2011 12:33 pm (UTC)
I don't even understand intersex hate. I mean, transphobes are always bawwing about BODIES THIS, BODIES THAT -- but intersex has everything to do with one's body, right? How can they possibly hold such contradictory views?
mephisto5 21st-Sep-2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
I WANT THIS. SO MUCH.

And fuck yes to Huppert and Featherstone. *Proud to have helped vote Huppert in*
devilstay 21st-Sep-2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
I have a question that is kind OT, but I was wondering, when referring to someone who doesn't identify as either sex OR identifies as both, what do you use in place of 'he/she/him/her' etc. I hope this isn't an offensive question, but I can't think of an appropriate term in the English language that encompasses both sexes or neither sex outside of the word 'it' and...I'm not going to use that to refer to anyone.
thelilyqueen 21st-Sep-2011 01:27 pm (UTC)
I don't think there is a standard way in English at this point. Some people use constructed pronouns like zie, others use the singular they. Hopefully someone with more authority on this topic than I have will reply to you too.

One general rule, I'd say, is to pay attention to how someone refers to themselves, and if they express a preference go with it.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
jwaneeta 21st-Sep-2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
If you make things more uncertain, people feel more insecure and vulnerable.

Oh, just speak for yourself. It doesn't make me (or a lot of people, I suspect) feel insecure or vulnerable. We're not that delicate.
kittymink 21st-Sep-2011 02:32 pm (UTC)
This is a good idea, I guess. I would choose it.

Daily Fail?... and that blog post is gross:

"We need to know who we are - and who our neighbours are too!"

Yes, panty checks for everyone! And then Julia Manning (whoever she is) will decide what you are.

Also the perennial conservative bugbear of "relativism".
liret 21st-Sep-2011 02:58 pm (UTC)
"Most doctors advise early surgical and hormonal intervention for the sake of establishing the child's gender identity and sense of belonging in society.

Citation needed.
doe_witch 21st-Sep-2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
lol dailyfail. Honestly yeah, there's no reason to put gender on identification documents in the first place. If the photo matches the face, that's really all that matters.
yeats 21st-Sep-2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
i believe it's time to listen to this again
the_gabih 21st-Sep-2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
It's always time to listen to that again.
astridmyrna 21st-Sep-2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
The proposal to remove gender details from an individuals passport will further fuel the identity crisis that is already a significant issue for so many in our country.
OMG, if the U.S. was to remove gender from our passports, I don't know what I'd do. I'd feel so lost and confused. Who am I? Where am I? Did I leave the gas on? See! I can't even remember if I left the gas on. It's only going to snowball from here folks. Soon we'll be rolling around the lawn butt-naked and not wearing any sunscreen while mooing like cows. At least cows know what gender they are!



AAAAAAH!
anjak_j 21st-Sep-2011 06:12 pm (UTC)
Stop that. You're making me laugh. And that hurts right now.
pandaseal 21st-Sep-2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
Britain is preparing to rip up centuries-old rules by introducing passports which do not contain details of the holder’s sex.

Wait, I'm supposed to be upset about this? Old doesn't equal good, you fuckwaffles. I also didn't realize passports have existed for centuries, but that's probably the fault of my silly ladybrainz.
mingemonster 21st-Sep-2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Old doesn't equal good, you fuckwaffles.

Exactly. Somewhere in my cupboard there are beans from 1990, that doesn't mean I'm going to eat them
spinnigold 21st-Sep-2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
We live in a free country and this has enabled a small number of people to define themselves transgender, but their reproductive organs show what is their actual gender. Another tiny proportion are born with "ambiguous genitalia" where post-birth tests have to be carried out to identify the dominant gender. Most doctors advise early surgical and hormonal intervention for the sake of establishing the child's gender identity and sense of belonging in society. A third group suffer from a rare gender-identity-disorder where they feel that they are the opposite sex to the one they were born.

In all these cases the gender can be established, whether an individual likes it or not. We have nothing to gain by introducing more uncertainty into identity. A country that persists in making its laws based on relativism and feelings will become weak, vulnerable and freedom will be lost not gained.


I cannot express how ill this makes me.
Go jump off a bridge, you ignorant twat waffle.
moonshaz 21st-Sep-2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
We live in a free country and this has enabled a small number of people to define themselves transgender, but their reproductive organs show what is their actual gender.

Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
This page was loaded Jun 19th 2018, 3:09 am GMT.