28/11/2003

Transsexuals to legally marry and gain birth certificates

Transsexual people will be able to marry in their acquired gender and be given birth certificates that recognise that gender, under new proposals published today.

For the first time, the Gender Recognition Bill will ensure that transsexual people are "afforded all the rights and responsibilities" appropriate to their acquired gender.

There are an estimated 5,000 transsexual people in the United Kingdom, many of whom will seek legal recognition in their acquired gender. A further 200-300 come forward each year to request legal recognition.

An interdepartmental working group has been examining the issue since 1999. The Bill honours the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights and ensures that transsexual people are given the rights that respect their identity.

Minister at the Department for Constitutional Affairs Lord Filkin said: "In a civilised society individuals and groups must be able to exercise the rights they are legitimately entitled to and be allowed to live their lives free from discrimination."

(gmcg)

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