UK Ordered To Rewrite TG Laws
[LONDON] - The British government has been told that its refusal to grant the transgendered new identity papers is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In a case involving a transgendered English woman who petitioned the European Court of Human Rights to be recognised as a woman and allowed to marry, the court ruled that the United Kingdom had breached her rights by refusing to change her status to female.
Christine Goodwin, a 64 year old former bus driver, has lived full time as a woman since 1984 and had gender reassignment surgery in 1990.
The court, in Strasbourg, awarded her more than $28,000 Cdn ($17,000 US) in court costs.
The court also ruled that the British government must give her a pension. In the UK, women are entitled to a pension at age 60 while men must wait until they are 65.
The judges chastised the Blair government for not updating its laws regarding the transgendered.
"Despite the court's re-iteration since 1986 and most recently in 1998 of the importance of keeping the need for appropriate legal measures under review having regard to scientific and societal developments, nothing has effectively been done by the respondent Government."
A working group of officials from 12 UK government departments are reportedly drawing up proposals to give transsexuals the right to change their birth certificates but the cabinet has set no date for the introduction of legislation.