The fee for applying for a sex recognition certificate has been reduced to £ 5, the government has confirmed.
From Tuesday, the fee for a person to update the legal sex on their birth certificate will be reduced from £ 140 to £ 5, in a bid to make the process more affordable for transgender people, after a commitment from the Minister of Equality, Liz Truss.
While the government put aside broader reforms despite a public consultation that found strong support, Ms Truss pledged in September last year to make applying for a gender recognition certificate “simpler and easier.” simpler”.
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Announcing the new fees, Ms Truss said: ‘As we rebuild better, we want transgender people to be free to live and thrive in modern Britain.
“In the national LGBT survey, 34% of transgender people told us that the cost of applying for a certificate prevented them from doing so.
“Today we have removed that barrier and I am proud to have made the process of obtaining a certificate fairer, simpler and much more affordable.”
To facilitate the application process, it will also be posted online, with further details to be announced by the government in due course.
Previously speaking to IAlex Woolhouse, legal strategy coordinator and volunteer for trans youth support charity Mermaids, said most trans people will still not be eligible for the certificate.
Ms Woolhouse said: ‘Besides legal and medical fees, the highest proportion of trans people in the UK are non-binary, and there is still no way for non-binary people to have their gender recognized. UK.
“Obviously it’s great that it’s less than £ 10 to apply, it’s way less than before. But what the price drop doesn’t solve are all the hidden costs that are still associated with legal recognition of your gender. ”
Under the current Gender Recognition Act (GRA), a transgender person must undergo a two-year waiting period, review or appearance before a specialized jury, as well as pay 140 £ before you can legally change your sex.
Many LGBT + activists believe the current system is not suited to their purpose and have called for it to be replaced with a simpler statutory declaration and self-identification.
Eloise Stonborough, associate director of policy and research at LGBT charity Stonewall, said the fee reduction was a “small step in the right direction,” but added that the existence of the fee was a “Barrier for some trans people”.
She added: “It is also important that the UK government establish a clear timetable for subsequent changes to streamline the application process and bring it online.
“All trans people deserve to be respected for who they are. Westminster’s failure to introduce a streamlined and demedicalized gender recognition system based on self-determination, which includes non-binary people, continues to be a barrier to advancing LGBT + equality across the UK .
Following a public consultation, Ms Truss announced in September that the government had rejected calls to allow people to self-identify their gender and change their birth certificates without a medical diagnosis.
Instead, the minister said the cost of applying for a gender recognition certificate would be reduced to a “nominal amount” and the process would be moved online.
But the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called it a “missed opportunity to simplify gender recognition law”, while the LGBT Foundation said it was “incredibly disappointed” .