Next Wave of LGBT Lawsuits May Battle to Erase Birth Sex From Government Records

The Royal Courts of Justice
The case of a man living as a woman who wants to erase records identifying him as male is being heard at London's high court. (R/DV/Rs/Flickr/Creative Commons)

A man who is living as a woman is battling Britain's government in court in an attempt to erase records identifying him as male.

Government lawyers say there is no need to remove the transsexual's history and that its policies on the issue strike the right balance.

However, the 44-year-old claims the current system breaches human rights laws.

Known only as "C" for legal reasons, the man is challenging the process used by job centers at a case in London's high court.

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Currently the Department for Work and Pensions processes records of transsexuals under a special, more secure format.

This means only those with authorization from a manager can see a claimant's full record.

It says this balances C's legal rights while allowing the department to do its work.

C has a gender recognition certificate and claims he experienced "intrusive and humiliating interactions" at job centers.

C's lawyer says, "[C] says her previous gender identity as male should be forgotten, except where it is strictly necessary."

The Scottish Transgender Alliance is helping C's legal team gather more evidence and has described the legal battle as a "test case."

Last week, a newspaper columnist criticized the "spreading cult of relativism" in the wake of the Eurovision Song Contest being won by a male who wants to be described as female.

Conchita Wurst sings in a dress and was referred to as a woman by the media.

The columnist, Brendan O'Neill, says that just because Wurst wants to be described as "she" when performing, "Does that mean we all have to comply with this rather strange demand, no questions asked?"

"Does objective reality—the fact that there are biological differences between men and women, and that the vast majority of humankind decides whether someone is a man or woman by those biological attributes—count for nothing in the face of one person's wish to be known as something he is not?" he asks.

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