Closed petition Make non-binary a legally recognised gender identity in the UK

Have non binary be included as an option under the GRP (Gender Recognition Panel)/ GRC (Gender Recognition Certificate), in order to allow those identifying as non binary to be legally seen as their true gender identity. As well as having ‘Non-binary’ be seen as a valid transgender identity.

More details

There is no option of ‘Non-binary’ on legal forms, ignoring members of the population. This requires the government to pass a law that publicly recognises ‘Non-binary’ as a part of the GRP under the Gender Recognition Act, a.k.a a legal and valid gender identity option. By recognising Non-binary as a valid gender identity, it would aid in the protection of Non-binary individuals against transphobic hate crimes, and would ease Gender Dysphoria experienced by Non-binary people.

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 23 May 2022

Watch the petition 'Make non-binary a legally recognised gender identity in the UK' being debated

Government responded

This response was given on 20 May 2021

As set out in the response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation, there are no plans to make changes to the 2004 Act.

Read the response in full

Following a considerable amount of consultation with the public and representative organisations, the Government decided that the current provisions within the GRA allow for those that wish to legally change their sex to do so fairly.

The 2018 GRA consultation did not bring forward any proposals to extend the GRA to provide legal recognition to a third, or non-binary, gender. The Government noted that there were complex practical consequences for other areas of the law, service provision and public life if provision were to be made for non-binary gender recognition in the GRA.

In UK law individuals are considered to be the sex that is registered on their birth certificate – either male or female. The GRA provides a means for transgender people to change the sex on their birth certificate, but there is currently no provision for those who do not identify as male or female.

This Government wants everybody in the UK to feel safe and confident to be themselves.

We are committed to tackling all forms of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime, and are working with the Home Office on the cross-Government Hate Crime Action Plan. The Government has asked the Law Commission to review the current hate crime legislation, which includes exploring whether homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime should be considered an aggravated offence. We will also take an assessment of local support for hate crime victims and improve reporting and recording of LGBT hate crimes through supporting additional police training.

Following Parliamentary approval on 8th October 2020, voluntary questions on sexual orientation and gender identity were included in the 2021 Census for England and Wales which took place on Sunday 21 March 2021. Final data on sexual orientation and gender identity from the 2021 Census for England and Wales will likely be available from 2023, with initial Census findings planned for publication in March 2022 (timelines subject to change as work progresses). This will help to provide more robust population size estimates for England and Wales than are currently available.

This Government is committed to supporting all LGBT people, tackling discrimination and improving the lives of all citizens.

Cabinet Office

Other parliamentary business

Report on Reform of the Gender Recognition Act published by MPs

The Women and Equalities Committee has published a report looking at Reform of the Gender Recognition Act, and related areas.

Read the Committee's report: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmwomeq/977/report.html

Among the recommendations made in its report the Committee has said that the Government should:

  • Remove the requirement of a 'gender dysphoria' diagnosis from the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate, thus de-medicalising transition.
  • Remove the requirement for trans people to have lived in their acquired gender for two years, as well as the need for spousal consent.
  • Clarify what the barriers are preventing non-binary people from gaining legal recognition
  • Urgently publish new guidance, incorporating worked examples and case studies, which would clarify where single-sex and separate-sex exceptions can be applied to the 2010 Equality Act.
  • Develop a specific healthcare strategy for transgender and non-binary people, including training for GPs around treating trans and non-binary patients and improved access to support services.

The report looks specifically at non-binary gender recognition. Read the chapter of the Committee's report about non-binary gender recognition: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmwomeq/977/report.html#heading-8

Read more about the report, including a comment from Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/news/160020/gender-recognition-process-urgently-in-need-of-reform-say-mps/

What happens next?

The Government now must respond to the Committee's report, which was published on 21 December 2021, within two months. The Committee will publish the Government’s response here: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/publications/

What is the Women and Equalities Committee?

The Women and Equalities Committee is a cross-party group of MPs appointed by the House of Commons to examine the work of the Government Equalities Office (GEO). It holds Government to account on equality law and policy, including the Equality Act 2010 and cross Government activity on equalities. It also scrutinises the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Find out more on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/

You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Commonswomequ

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

You can sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference: https://learning.parliament.uk/en/your-uk-parliament-newsletter-sign-up-form/

Reform of the Gender Recognition Act report gets response from Government

Government responds to MPs' report on Reform of the Gender Recognition Act

The Women and Equalities Committee has published the Government's response to its report on Reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

Read the Government's response (HTML): https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmwomeq/129/report.html#heading-1

Read the Government's response (PDF): https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/9415/documents/161226/default/

In its response, the Government says that it believes that the current system already allows people to change their sex legally. The Government said it will not be changing the law on this area.

However, the Government said that there are ways to improve the process and experience of people applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).

Responding to the Government's response, the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Caroline Nokes MP, said:

"Moving closer to a system of self-declaration and away from the currently over-medicalised process of gender transition would have given transgender people the dignity and respect they deserve. I am disappointed that the Government is unwilling to take simple steps- such as the removal of the requirement to live as a stereotype in an acquired gender, or the requirement for a 'gender dysphoria' diagnosis- to move the GRA into the modern day."

Read more about how the Government responded, including the full comment from the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/news/165046/government-misses-clear-opportunity-to-bring-gender-recognition-act-into-the-modern-day/

Read the Women and Equalities Committee's letter to the Minister for Equalities

The Women and Equalities Committee has written to the Minister for Equalities, Mike Freer MP, to request clarity on the Government's suggestion that it might change the spousal consent provision. Under the current law, married applicants for a Gender Recognition Certificate must prove that their spouse consents to changing their marriage from different-sex to same-sex, or vice versa.

Read the Women and Equalities Committee's letter to the Minister: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/9417/documents/161245/default/

What did the Committee's original report on Reform of the Gender Recognition Act say?

Among the recommendations made in its report, the Women and Equalities Committee said that the Government should:

• Remove the requirement of a 'gender dysphoria' diagnosis from the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate. This would de-medicalise transition.
• Remove the requirement for trans people to have lived in their acquired gender for two years, as well as the need for spousal consent.
• Clarify what the barriers are preventing non-binary people from gaining legal recognition.
• Urgently publish new guidance which would clarify where single-sex and separate-sex exceptions can be applied to the 2010 Equality Act.
• Develop a specific healthcare strategy for transgender and non-binary people, including training for GPs around treating trans and non-binary patients and improved access to support services.

The report looks specifically at non-binary gender recognition. Read the chapter of the Women and Equalities Committee's report about non-binary gender recognition: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmwomeq/977/report.html#heading-8

Read more about the report, including a comment from the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/news/160020/gender-recognition-process-urgently-in-need-of-reform-say-mps/

What is the Women and Equalities Committee?

The Women and Equalities Committee is a cross-party group of MPs appointed by the House of Commons to examine the work of the Government Equalities Office (GEO). It holds Government to account on equality law and policy, including the Equality Act 2010 and cross Government activity on equalities. It also scrutinises the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Find out more: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/

Get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Commonswomequ

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Get involved in the work of the UK Parliament

Sign up to the Your UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference: https://parliament.us16.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=3ad7e4c57a864f07e4db008c4&id=26d0645ea9