11. Submission from Lima House Group
The Lima House Group is an organisation in Cambridgeshire
that offers the following services.
Professional support and counselling
services for transsexual people, their partners and families.
Training and workshops for public and private organisations in
dealing with transsexual people whether employees, volunteers
or service users.
Individual advice to employers when
dealing with "transition at work" issues.
Training in diversity issues to organisations,
including the Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Probation Service and
various Voluntary Groups.
Advise and assistance to university
students studying areas connected with Gender Identity.
Provide a support line for people
worried about gender identity issues.
Provide services to the media (TV,
radio, newspapers, magazines etc) in presenting true and accurate
accounts of gender identity issues.
We have kept this critique to a few major areas
of concern, as we feel that the majority of the proposals are
a very positive step forward to returning equal rights to transsexual
people and bringing the UK into line with more forward looking
The decision to insist on pre-existing marriages
being dissolved, annulled, or terminated by divorce before "acquired
gender" is recognised, in my opinion, tantamount to emotional
torture. To ask someone who has been married for many years to
choose between having their true gender recognised and maintaining
the vows they made in marriage is a choice that should never have
to be made. This will inevitably cause considerable emotional
stress for both partners.
Whilst recognising the problems that this would
create with "same sex" marriages, a simple alternative
is clearly available. A new civil/religious option for married
people to repeat their vows as a means to create a neo-marriage
situation that would be treated exactly the same as for married
people. This would only be available to couples where one partner
transitioned after marriage.
The draft bill does, not require a surgical
intervention before issue of a GRC and final birth certificate
change is made. Whilst recognising that some transsexual people
are unable to complete full gender reassignment either through
medical problems or lack of funding, this does present a potential
breach of the human rights act. The draft bill will allow someone
who wishes to maintain their full male sexual characteristics
(including fertility) to register as female providing they can
be seen to be receiving treatment for gender dysphoria. This must
surely be a breach of the human rights of all women, allowing
as it would such people to use facilities such as toilets etc.,
and would give the possibility of allowing sexual deviants into
areas where they could cause considerable problems. There is a
"script" that will fool any psychiatrist and this can
easily be learned by anyone who wishes to. This is of specific
importance when dealing with male to female transsexual people
and the minimum requirement for male to female transsexual people
must be castration and orchidectomy.
3. SIX YEARSIX
The draft bill prevents people who transitioned
less than six years ago from applying for six months after the
bill is finalised. In contrast I believe, someone recognised by
another country may apply immediately regardless of transition
date. This is a totally unfair restriction on British transsexual
people that should be removed from the bill Whilst recognising
the likely "rush" of applicants, it is also important
to recognise the effect that this restriction will have on those
who have not lived for six years after transition. The rule regarding
two years since transition should be the only restriction enforced.
10 September 2003