This is a brief update on the entry I wrote about Charing Cross gender clinic getting a bit funny about DIY deed polls. In short: the clinic is once accepting such documents, so hurrah!
I have been reliably informed that the issue was raised at a stakeholder meeting. It was confirmed that was indeed some confusion at the clinic about the status of home-made change of name documents.
The policy at the clinic has now been changed to bring it in line with the advice of the Gender Recognition Panel, which recognises appropriately written change of name documents signed by the person changing their name, and a witness.
Such documents can be found online in a number of locations, such as here.
I’m not in the mood for a full update on this, but since a previous entry contains heavy criticism of Press For Change, I feel it’s worth a brief summary of what happened next.
Following heavy criticism of the draft briefing by PFC, a new briefing was issued that better addressed the problems faced by trans people with non-binary identities. At a meeting with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, every trans group present (bar a:gender) argued strongly for a fully inclusive equality bill.
In June, an amendment was proposed by Lynne Featherstone MP (Lib Dem), Dr Evan Harris MP (Lib Dem) and Tim Boswell MP (Cons) that would extend protections in the Equality Bill to non-binary trans people. Unfortunately this was then struck down byVera Baird (Lab), the Solicitor-General. A report of the debate can be found here, under “Clause 4”.
Since then, I believe various trans organisations – as well as independent activists – have continued quietly lobbying for full inclusion. Press For Change have indicated that they are now fully behind this.
Update: a:gender have since supported a fully trans-inclusive Equality Bill.
The Scottish Transgender Alliance and Gender Spectrum – who are attending a meeting with representatives of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in a few days time – have launched a survey to gather ordinary trans people’s views on the Equality Bill in order to properly represent our interests. Their stated intent is to gain the imput of as wide a range of individuals as possible, from different backgrounds and with different identities.
If you’re a UK-based trans person, please take the time to fill this in, and pass it on to others if you’re able to.
The deadline is Saturday 23rd. The survey has only been live a week or so, but there isn’t much time left for Parliament to make significant amendments.
Press Release from the Scottish Transgender Alliance & Gender Spectrum UK
Tuesday 12th May 2009
The Scottish Transgender Alliance (www.scottishtrans.org) & Gender Spectrum UK (www.gsuk.org ) wish to announce the launch of an on-line survey for the Gender Variant community with regards to issues that have come to light through the publication of the Equality Bill.
This is an important Bill and introduces some positive lines of protection for everyone.
Whilst the Bill itself covers several different strands, we wish to specifically concern ourselves with the issues that affect the Gender Variant community.
The survey will be anonymous and should take around 10 minutes to complete. The results will be published on the websites of both the Scottish Transgender Alliance and Gender Spectrum UK.
The closing date for this survey is Saturday 23rd May.
We would truly appreciate YOUR views on the priority issues within the Equality Bill.