A Brief History of the GRC (UK)

Gender Recognition Certificate - a legal fiction to allow a male transwoman to marry boyfriend without creating "same-Sex" Marriage

Gender Recognition Certificate – created for marriage in the absence of Same-Sex Marriage

The origin of the Gender Recognition Certificate was a ruling in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2003 following the successful action of a male transwoman who wanted to marry ‘their’ boyfriend, in the absence of Same-Sex Marriage, which was only passed in 2015.

Much was made in discussions in the UK Parliament that this was not “Same-Sex” marriage said by Lord Filkin to be a “contradiction in terms”.

Yet, it was called the Gender Recognition Act and not the Sex Recognition Act. Clare B D remembers that this happened at a time when an action in the ECHR for Same-Sex marriage would have failed. She also remembers that for the Civil Partnership Act 2004,which generated the first same-sex civil partnerships on 21 Dec 2005. With the CP Act, every dot and comma was minutely examined including ensuring the legitimacy of a child born to a gay male heir to the throne, whose child had not been conceived within traditional heterosexual marriage.

There is an excellent Twitter thread by Vulvamort on the legal discussions, which shows that this legal fiction should have been abolished with the Same-Sex Marriage Act in 2015, which was missed in the hurry of Conservative guilt over the now notorious #Section 28. Indeed, Clare was an out lesbian teacher, directly affected by the prohibition on “promoting homosexuality” which applied to Local Authorities but was mistakenly thought to apply to schools, such that most schools acted as though it did (including hers!).

© 2021 Clare B Dimyon MBE [L-G-B-T] Analytical Engineer in the Aerospace Industry