UK: Sex change birth certificate legislation approved

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Sex change birth certificate legislation approved

May 27 2004

A Birmingham MP has celebrated victory in a ten-year campaign to win new rights for people who have a sex change. Transsexuals will now be able to demand new birth certificates – with their correct gender, thanks to a
change in the law.

Lynne Jones (Lab Selly Oak), a long-time supporter of the change, described the introduction of the legislation as “a wonderful moment”, in a House of Commons debate.

But the measures in the Gender Recognition Bill were condemned by Midland MP Sir Patrick Cormack (ConStaffordshire South). He said it would force registrars, the people responsible for issuing birth certificates, to “lie” by issuing birth certificates with genders which “were not true”.

Sir Patrick said: “It is not just the road to hell that is paved with good intentions; so is the road to bad legislation. This is bad legislation, because legislation that calls upon people to tell lies is fundamentally flawed.” He added: “We are faced with a Bill that obliges people to say things that are not so. “We know that those who are persuaded that they are of the wrong sex or gender do not necessarily have physical differences and do not necessarily have to undergo surgery of any sort, yet they are to be recognised and issued with a birth certificate that
contradicts the natural facts of life.”

The Gender Recognition Bill will enable an estimated 5,000 transsexuals to have secret changes made to their birth certificates. It will also allow them to
marry in their acquired gender. Churches will have the right to refuse to conduct such a marriage. Ministers have already amended the Bill to allow sports governing bodies to make special rules for transsexual competitors.

The full transcript of the UK Gender Recognition debates can be found on the MHB News Forum, here.

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