The UK Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by a person who claims to be non-binary and is against the compulsory division of the civil status into male and female.
Christie Elan-Cane, who does not wish to be identified as either gender, has been fighting for 25 years to be able to have a non-binary, gender-neutral endorsement put on UK government-issued identity documents. Elan-Cane uses her own pronouns in everyday life (Pr/per/perself instead of Ms/her/herself). In the complaint, she wrote that the compulsory gender assignment is “inherently discriminatory” and constitutes a breach of the European Declaration of Human Rights.
The Supreme Court justices unanimously dismissed the complaint. They explained that the gender of passport applicants is “a biographical detail that can be used to confirm their identity by matching it against the birth, adoption, or gender recognition certificates and other official records provided.” Therefore, it is the sex recognized for legal purposes and recorded in those documents that is relevant.
The presiding judge, Lord Robert Reed, Baron Reed of Allermuir, continued:
“There is no legislation in the UK which recognizes a non-gendered category of person. On the contrary, all legislation assumes that all persons can be assigned to one of the two genders, using these terms interchangeably.”
Elan-Cane accused Britain of being “on the wrong side of history” after the ruling, and announced she would now take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
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