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💬 In this week's issue:
- Passports. The court decision that leaves the UK on the wrong side of history.
- Moral panic. Does it ever go away? This week from JK and around Scotland's Self-ID reforms.
- Christmas movies. The queer content to get you jingling the way through to Jan.
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⚖️ 'On the wrong side of history' - Supreme court denies X Passports
Christie Elan-Cane, a non-gendered campaigner who uses uses 'per/perself' pronouns, has been fighting for three decades for non-binary X markers on passports.
But in a major blow this week, the UK's top court denied per case. Elan Cane argues the application process for a passport breaches human rights laws by not allowing an "X" option.
The court said applicants' gender was "a biographical detail which can be used to confirm their identity". But because UK law only recognises the binary sex or gender markers male and female, Elan-Cane had no case.
Strikingly though, the main reason for denying the case was that allowing the passport change would leave the government without a coherent approach to the issue.
It's not the end of the case though, Elan-Cane says the decision is "on the wrong side of history" - BBC
The case will now go to the European Court of Human Rights.
“Legitimate identity is a fundamental human right, but non-gendered people are treated as though we have no rights. The U.K. Government has over a period of years spanning into decades barely acknowledged our existence and refuses to acknowledge our disenfranchisement while its systems and bureaucracy render us socially invisible.”
- Christie Elan Cane, non-gendered campaigner
It wouldn't be a remarkable change to introduce. But, it would bring the UK in line with international standards that already allow for non-binary gender markers on passports.
Gender-neutral passports are already possible in Argentina, Australia, the US, Canada, Denmark, India, Malta, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Pakistan. Indeed, Germany even has intersex markers.
And there is precedent in UK equality law for protection for non-binary folk. An employment tribunal against Jaguar Land Rover last year set important case law. It ruled non-binary people are covered by the Equality Act. - Forbes
Though it may not have created a 'legal precedent' the soft power of this ruling had a great impact, as we explained recently. Employers all over the UK will now be making moves to ensure discrimination against non-binary people isn't happening in their workplace. -
So now Elan-Cane's case goes to the European Court of Human Rights.
Indeed, if per puts an end to what is seen by many as outdated legislation - it could have broad implications. All UK law could see a wave of similar challenges.
Though, as you'll read later on, that may well depend if the ruling comes before or after this Government's planned changes to the Human Rights Act...
TLDR: The UK Supreme Court is on the "wrong side of history" and X Passports in the UK will now go to the European Court of Human Rights, in a ruling that could have all kinds of implications for UK Law.
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