Latest info on the inquiry from UK Trans Info


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Transcript available here (or PDF version) or you can watch the archive recording of the session below.

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On Tuesday 13th October the committee will hold it's third oral evidence session at The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House. The first panel at 10.30am will be on law and transgender equality, including employment issues. The announced witnesses are:

The second panel at 11.30am will be trans people speaking about their own personal experiences. The witnesses are:

  • Zac Snape (unable to attend)
  • Sue Pascoe
  • Bethany Black
  • Christie Elan-Cane

The topics likely to be covered, as described in the announcement, are:

The Equality Act 2010

"The Equality Act 2010 effectively makes being a trans person a "protected characteristic" on the grounds of which it is illegal to discriminate against someone. The Committee is likely to investigate whether the Act provides sufficient protection (particularly in relation to employment) and how far it protects non-binary people (who do not wholly identify as either male or female)."

The Gender Recognition Act 2004

"The Gender Recognition Act 2004 allows trans people to acquire a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) whereby their acquired gender is recognised in law for all purposes, including marriage. Applicants must show that they:

  • have, or have had, gender dysphoria (discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity);
  • have lived fully for the last two years in their acquired gender; and
  • intend to live permanently in their acquired gender.

The Committee is likely to investigate whether the current application process is too expensive, bureaucratic and medicalised. It may look at whether people should be able to define their own gender (including non-binary identity) for the purposes of gender recognition, as the law now allows in Denmark, Malta and Ireland."


"One of the witnesses before the Committee will be Ashley Reed, who has initiated an online petition advocating such a change in the law. The Ministry of Justice has responded negatively to this petition, stating that it is not aware of "any specific detriment" associated with being non-binary."

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

"The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 provides for same-sex marriages with equal legal status to different-sex marriages. Where a party to a marriage transitions, the trans partner can obtain a GRC and the marriage can be converted to a same-sex or different-sex marriage, as appropriate. However, this requires the consent of the non-trans party to the marriage. Where that consent is withheld, the trans person involved will only be able to obtain an interim GRC (which confers no legal rights regarding gender recognition). A full GRC would only be obtainable following divorce – for which the issuing of an interim GRC constitutes legal grounds. The Committee may consider whether this “spousal veto” discriminates against trans people, as is widely alleged; and the fact that the equivalent Scottish legislation, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014, does not include such a provision."

Other issues

"The Committee may also look at issues concerning the recording of gender in other official documents and whether the government should stop recording gender information in contexts where it is not relevant. In some countries, such as Australia, it is now possible to obtain a passport with an "X" (unspecified) gender marker."


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This website is created and maintained by UK Trans Info, a national organisation focused on improving the lives of trans and non-binary people in the UK. Find out more about our work on our website or visit us on social media channels with the links below.


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About the Inquiry

The Inquiry into Transgender Equality was first launched by the new Women and Equalities Committee. It began on 27th July 2015 and is currently still ongoing.

The official website of the inquiry is available here and you can also follow along on twitter using the #transinquiry hashtag.