UK’s Highest Court Rejects Sex-Neutral Passports; Complainant Vows EU Court of Human Rights Will Hear Case – Women Are Human
In July 2018, the High Court rejected Elan-Cane’s argument that the passport application process was “unlawful” for not allowing individuals the option of requesting an ‘X’ in the sex marker field.
The Court of Appeal upheld the ruling in March 2020.
On December 15, 2021, the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal, finding that Elan-Cane’s interest in being issued a passport with ‘X’ in the sex marker field is “outweighed” by other considerations, including “maintaining a coherent approach across government.”
Lord Robert Reed, President of the Supreme Court, determined: “The form is concerned with the applicants’ gender as a biographical detail which can be used to confirm their identity by checking it against the birth, adoption or gender recognition certificates provided and other official records. It is therefore the gender recognised for legal purposes and recorded in those documents which is relevant.”
The United States issued its first passport with ‘X’ as the sex marker in October. Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Malta, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Pakistan also permit sex-neutral passports.