UK court ruling on whether a trans man can be a father could change lives

UK court ruling on whether a trans man can be a father could change lives

Karen Holden (left) is the solicitor representing Freddy McConnell, a trans parent fighting for the right to be listed as his child’s father | Pictures: Supplied / Instagram

A trans man is fighting for the right to be identified accurately on his child’s birth certificate in the UK.

This is the landmark legal battle involving Freddy McConnell, a journalist who gave birth to his child and wishes to be legally listed as the father or parent.

Freddy launched legal action last year, anonymously, against the General Register Office, which administers the registration of births and deaths in England and Wales.

All he simply wanted was for his child’s documents to reflect their family accurately.

That is, to be a legal parent, and not be forced to register as ‘mother’ when he is legally now recognized as a man.

‘The UK law must change as society has’

Today, Freddy is fighting for the rights of the LGBTI community around the world by asking only for a choice to be treated with fairness.

The ruling in this lengthy legal battle is now imminent and whatever the judge’s decision in the matter of McConnell (TT, as the courts once knew him as) and the child, listed as ‘YY,’ there is one thing I know for sure.

The UK law must change as society has.

Without immediate legal reform trans men and women are being forced to register as parents they are not legally recognized to be.

As the solicitor representing Freddy in this unprecedented case, I feel when the UK stands up for equality it needs to ensure it goes far enough to protect everyone and right now transgender and other LGBTI rights need urgent reform.

‘Trans rights have never been so important’

As a forward-thinking progressive leader of the modern Western world, parts of UK law do not reflect our ever-evolving society.

Other countries are reviewing their position and we need to be embracing these discussions.

In 2004, the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) was enacted to govern how trans people have their identity legally recognized. This was completely ground-breaking at the time.

Yet, as always, the law never goes far enough and thinks also about the practical realities of applying the law.

It currently, as in this case, denies equality. It creates inaccurate documentation and fails to serve multiple groups with the LGBTI community.

Trans rights have never been so important and the result of this case, could change lives and indeed, history.

Karen Holden is the founder of A City Law Firm and an LGBTI rights champion, who was invited and given Freedom of the City for her equality work.

See also

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