Pre-Existing Marriage Campaign Survey

May 6, 2009

**** Press Release from Gender Spectrum UK *****

Tuesday 5th May 2009

Pre-Existing Marriage Campaign Survey

Gender Spectrum UK wish to announce the launch of an on-line survey – link here – to gauge the general opinion of the position of individuals with Gender Identity Disorder who transition from the gender assigned at birth, where the individual is married prior to transition.

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) created the legal right for an individual to change the gender marker recorded on their birth certificate, however, that Act prevented individuals who are married or in a Civil Partnership from effecting such change until they had ended that marriage or Civil Partnership. The GRA provides a fast track process to enable a person who is married to immediately enter into a Civil Partnership following the legal end to their marriage.

This process is not without its problems as it is essential that the entire legal process is completed in exactly the right manner and there are also significant time and financial cost to the whole process.

For many people, the relationship and the vows made are sacrosanct preventing them from making such a change, as this would mean ending a sacred vow. The process of gender reassignment is not something undertaken lightly. It does not affect a person’s faith and there are a number of married couples that maintain wholly loving relationships throughout this process and beyond.

The current requirement to end a marriage or Civil Partnership puts significant pressure upon such relationships. The presence of minor children within such relationships add a further burden if there is a forced dissolution of the existing marriage or Civil Partnership.

Gender Spectrum UK is seeking views on this issue from all interested individuals, whether they are directly affected, indirectly affected or if they have an interest in these matters. To this end, a survey is available (link here) to gather such views. The survey has identified four general solutions to the issue and we are seeking the preferred solution from those four options.

The four options are:

A) The current requirement for annulment and creation of a new Civil Partnership or marriage is satisfactory

B) Automatic transfer to a Civil Partnership or marriage without the formal process of annulment and registration.

C) Retention of existing marriage or Civil Partnership with a different name (i.e. not marriage or Civil Partnership, but something indicating its legacy position such as ‘Legacy Partnership’ (i.e. with no mention of marriage))

D) Retention of existing marriage or Civil Partnership with no change (i.e. retaining the name marriage or Civil Partnership)

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Gender Spectrum UK

Gender Spectrum UK exists to promote the health, well-being and rights for gender variant people.

Gender Spectrum UK is about allowing gender variant people to have a say in what they need and it will be gender variant people who decide what they feel needs to be done. Every gender variant person has individual needs and this group is a place to make them heard.

FORWARDING: Whilst we welcome this press statement being forwarded to third parties, we do ask that you forward this message in its entirety, complete with its attribution and this footer.

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