Manx gender recognition bill moves forward

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A bill to bring the Isle of Man in line with the rest of the UK on gender recognition has unanimously passed its first reading in the Legisative Council.

The Gender Recognition bill, steered by member Eddie Lowey, is being enacted to conform to the latest European Court of Human Rights rulings and updates the law to the new identities of post-op trans people.

It has passed three readings in the House of Keys and will now have to pass two more readings and clauses before becoming law.

It means a transsexual person who has been issued with a full gender recognition certificate will be legally regarded as being of their acquired gender, and that a transsexual will be able to marry a person of the opposite gender to their acquired gender.

The bill also states that the General Registry will establish a strictly confidential Gender Recognition Register to record the details of all gender recognition certificates that have been offered to the Chief Registrar.

It is based on similar legislation introduced in the UK, the Gender Recognition Act.

Mr Lowey told “The purpose is to provide transsexual people with legal recognition in their acquired gender. It is being done to comply with an obligation under the European Convention on Human Rights.

“It is virtually certain that the Manx law would be ruled incompatible with the European Convention and it is worth emphasising that this is completely separate from the EU.”

Last month, a member of the Isle of Man’s parliament was accused of using language more akin to the Nazis during a debate about the rights of transsexuals.

John Houghton, a House of Keys member for Douglas North, said the gender recognition bill “defies common decency” and “takes human rights too far”.

Fellow MHK Peter Karran (Onchan) denounced his comments, saying: “It’s what the Nazis used to say about the Jews.

“I thought we had got away from this island being seen as a fascist, reactionary backwater.”