The Gender Recognition Act 2004

The 2004 Gender Recognition Act gives transsexual people legal recognition as members of the sex appropriate to their gender (male or female) allowing them to acquire a new birth certificate.

Ultimately, if a person either lives full-time in their preferred gender role or intends to do so, they are generally considered to be a member of that gender. Legal gender can be changed as a result and requires appropriate evidence. People present evidence to a Gender Recognition Panel, which considers their case and issues a Gender Recognition Certificate.

It makes no requirement for sex reassignment surgery to have taken place.

Related issues

1. If people wish to access gender reassignment surgery, it is usually a condition that they will have lived for at least two years as a member of the opposite sex.

2. A marriage to a person of the sex opposite to that of their new birth certficate is now possible. If the person involved is in a legally-recognised marriage they will be issued an 'Interim Gender Recognition Certificate', which can then be used as grounds for annulment of the marriage, but otherwise has no status. After annulment, a full Certificate will be issued.

3. If the two formerly married people wish to remain in a legally recognised relationship, they can have a civil partnership ceremony.

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