UK: Motion to introduce gender neutral passports gains cross party support

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A motion which calls on the Government to issue gender neutral passports to those who identify as non-gender, bi-gender and intersex, has gained support from dozens of MPs.

The Early Day Motion, number 47, sponsored by Julian Huppert, has been tabled with a view to having issues such as official forms and documents only containing binary gender options such as ‘Male’ and ‘Female’, being addressed by the House.

It states: “Many of those who are non-gendered or bi-gendered feel compromised and diminished as a result of inappropriate gender references on their personal identity information; acknowledges that all passports issued by HM Passport Office are currently gender-specific and it is therefore not possible to obtain a passport that contains no reference to gendered identity.”

The motion goes on to state that the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Document 9303 recognises gender ‘X’ as an alternative to ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ options on Passports, and that countries such as Australia and New Zealand already issue Gender X passports. 

Supported by 42 MPs, including those from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, one from the Conservative Party, Green Party and Alliance, the motion is also supported by two independent members.

Peter Bottomley is the only Conservative Party MP to have signed up to support the motion so far, and it sees a majority of support by Labour MPs.

Back in 2011, the Home Office said it was going to consider allowing gender-neutral passports. A Home Office spokesman said: “We are exploring with international partners and relevant stakeholders the security implications of gender not being displayed on the passport.”

Changes were made to Australian passport rules in 2011, which allowed the option of ‘X’ in passports there. New Zealand also offers the gender-neutral option on passports in accordance with Document 9303.