UK Supreme Court Upholds Gender Binary-Only Options for Passports


The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court has upheld the nation’s policy allowing for gender-binary passport options only, despite a challenge from a petitioner who wanted a third option added to the travel document applications.

Christie Elan-Cane sought to challenge the policy of Her Majesty’s Passport Office which requires individuals to mark fi they are either male or female. Elane-Cane, a longtime advocate for non-binary identity, argued that this was a violation of human rights.

The Supreme Court, however, determined that it was necessary for the purposes of the passport office to verify an individual’s biological gender when they apply for the travel documents.

“The form is concerned with the applicants’ gender as a biographical detail which can be used to confirm their identity by checking it against the birth, adoption or gender recognition certificates provided and other official records,” Lord Reed said while giving the ruling on Friday, according to The Epoch Times.

“It is, therefore, the gender recognized for legal purposes and recorded in those documents which is relevant.”

The high court’s president found that Elan-Cane’s concerns were “outweighed” by other factors, including “maintaining a coherent approach across government” as to how gender was classified and indicated on official documents.

“There is no legislation in the United Kingdom which recognizes a non-gendered category of individuals,” Lord Reed said.

“On the contrary, legislation across the statute book assumes that all individuals can be categorized as belonging to one of two sexes or genders, terms which have been used interchangeably.”

In response, Elan-Cane told reporters that the ruling places the United Kingdom on “the wrong side of history.”

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