Campaigner takes gender-neutral passport case to High Court

High Court: A gender-neutral campaigner is to launch a challenge over UK passports

The Home Office is facing a challenge to provide gender-neutral passports to UK citizens at a High Court hearing on Wednesday.

Campaigner Christie Elan-Cane, who has given evidence to Parliament about transgender equality, believes the current passport application process in Britain is inappropriate.

The push for a judicial review comes after Canada last month became the 10th country to offer citizens gender-neutral travel documents. Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan and India had already done so.

Under the UK’s current process, applicants must state whether they are male or female. If the new proposals were introduced, the option “X”, which stands for unspecified, would be added to the M or F options.

“It is wrong that someone who defines as neither should be forced to make that declaration”, said Elan-Cane, who was born a woman but completed a physical transition in 1990.

Elan-Cane has said: “Within a few months after surgery I was able to psychologically articulate how the gendered role I was assigned at birth had never applied.

“I felt no overarching need to live in the other gendered role. At that point I began looking for answers and defining as neither male nor female.”

Elan-Cane, who first contacted the UK passport office directly in 1995, sees the issue of “X” (for unspecified) passports as a key focal point of the non-gendered campaign.

The application to bring a judicial review will be heard in London’s High Court by Mr Justice Gilbart.