Male and Female tick options should be scrapped

September 21, 2015 10:53 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

A 'Male' or 'Female' tick-box on official documents should be phased out or replaced with an 'X' option, the Liberal Democrats said today.

The move is part of a package of measures to cut discrimination against transgender and intersex people.

Current practices make it difficult for a transgender person to have their gender recorded accurately.

The package of measures, passed at the Lib Dem Party Conference in Bournemouth, include:

  • Waiting time standards in all aspects of the gender healthcare service.
  • An independent inquiry into systemic abuse of transgender people in the NHS.
  • The establishment of a gender identity clinic in Wales.


Commenting on the new policy, Lib Dem spokesperson Meral Hussein-Ece said:

"The Liberal Democrats believe no should be left behind or discriminated against - regardless of race, gender, age, creed or sexual orientation.

"We've come a long way in this country towards achieving the equality transgender people want and deserve.

"But so much more needs to be done. That is why we have designed a package of measure to help reduce prejudice against the community.

"Transgender rights are human rights. We need both our health service and our laws to reflect this fundamental fact."

The substantive part of the motion - F19 Transgender and intersex health charter - is as follows:

Conference called for:

The funding that NHS England has requested to be provided to ensure compliance with each person's needs and with waiting time standards in all aspects of the gender healthcare service.

The NHS to guarantee in their gender dysphoria protocols, in line with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care:

a) The right of transgender and gender-variant children to receive puberty-blocking medications until they are eligible for hormone replacement therapy.

b) The right of genderqueer, non-binary, and intersex people to access gender identity and reassignment services without discrimination based on their identity.

An independent inquiry into widespread and systemic abuse of transgender people within the health service.

Protections on gender reassignment in equality law to be expanded to also explicitly cover gender identity and expression, and all legal protections on the basis of sexual orientation to be extended to include gender identity and intersex status where appropriate.

Provisions in the Equality Act 2010 that legalise discrimination against transgender people and prevent autonomous organising to be reversed. A streamlined simplification of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to allow individuals to change their legal gender at will.

The phased removal of gender markers in documentation unless it is absolutely necessary, and the introduction of an 'X' gender option and 'Mx.' title option on the remainder.

Changes to government-issued documentation on the basis of gender reassignment to be provided free of charge.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission to develop standards of best practice in which equality and diversity monitoring forms request transgender status separate from gender and sexual orientation, with options for 'prefer not to say' and 'other (please specify)' for each question.

Transgender status of any kind to be explicitly designated as 'sensitive personal data' under the Data Protection Act 1998 and 'protected information' under the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

The practice of unnecessary surgery on children for the purpose of resolving intersex variations of primary sex characteristics to be phased out, and for the Royal College of Surgeons to develop standards on that basis.

More paid roles to help increase transgender and intersex representation, especially in third sector organisations working with LGBT+ or young people.

The government to recognise and observe Bisexual Visibility Day (23 September), Intersex Awareness Day (26 October) and Transgender Day of Remembrance (20 November).

The party to continue to make the case for transgender and intersex equality, especially through challenging transphobia in political discourse and encouraging positive depictions in the media. Conference also supports the Welsh Liberal Democrats in campaigning to establish a gender identity clinic in Wales.