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Refusals to introduce gender-neutral passports called ‘degrading and illogical’

Campaigner Christie Elan-Cane, who is challenging the Government over gender-neutral passports.

Campaigner Christie Elan-Cane is challenging the Government over gender-neutral passports (Picture: Getty)

A refusal to introduce gender-neutral passports makes the process of applying for the documents ‘degrading and illogical’, a court has heard.

Christie Elan-Cane, who identifies as non-gendered, says government policy requiring individuals to indicate if they are male or female on application forms breaches human rights laws.

The 63-year-old has campaigned for a quarter of a century to win legal recognition for non-gendered identity, and is challenging the Home Office to reverse its policy on blocking ‘X’ passports.

Appeal court judges last year ruled the right for a gender neutral passport was ‘beyond argument’ but said government did not breach the law.

Lawyer Kate Gallafent QC, yesterday told the Supreme Court Elan-Cane ‘cannot cross a frontier or undergo an identity check without using a passport which misrepresents the appellant’s gender identity’.

She said the activist was forced to ‘make a false declaration’ to get a passport, which ‘strikes at the foundation of honesty and integrity’.

Elan-Cane had an NHS-funded hysterectomy in the 1990s, and Ms Gallafent said: ‘The state has assisted in the applicant no longer having any sex-specific characteristics.

Sir James Eadie QC leaves the Supreme Court, London.

Home office lawyer Sir James Eadie QC says it is ‘legitimate for a state to conclude “X” passports should not be viewed, or introduced, in isolation’ (Picture: PA)

‘The illogicality is the applicant cannot obtain a document recognising that acquired identity.’

But Sir James Eadie QC, for the Home Office, said it was ‘legitimate for a state to conclude “X” passports should not be viewed, or introduced, in isolation’.

The court is expected to reserve judgment until a later date.

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