In case you haven't heard, the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill that is progressing through Parliament currently contains an amendment to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 which means that if a married person wishes to transition and gain their full Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), they must gain the consent of their spouse for the marriage to continue. This is highly problematic as it effectively gives a huge amount of control over the issuing of the full GRC to the spouse. Of course, in an ideal world, where everyone takes the news of their partner wishing to transition extremely well, then this wouldn't be a massive hurdle, however, as you can see from the figures above, things are rarely so simple. If the spouse of a transitioning partner were to dig their heels in, they could quite easily drag out divorce proceedings in an effort to frustrate and hinder.
There is no evidence to support the need for a spousal veto. There is, however, now evidence that the spousal veto is likely to be misused by those who do not want their trans spouse to transition.
Please send a message to Baroness Stowell, the government spokesperson in the Lords, asking her to reconsider her position.
Sure, we could provide you with a template letter, but it's much better if you write one yourself. It'll carry much more weight!
The temperature of this debate is hot enough already. Keep your message calm, clear and focused on the problem at hand.
Obviously the Bill isn't perfect, but it does represent a massive step forward for our community. Make sure to recognise the good bits, while pointing out what could be made better.
This one is especially true if you're personally affected by these issues. Been unfortunate enough to experience a non-supportive partner or spouse? Then tell them! It's entirely possible they just didn't think the proposals through enough and your evidence could make the Government reconsider.
Then you should definitely read up on the issue: Spouse Reactions to Transsexuality. Or try: Trans marriage rights – Lobbying the Lords. Or this one: Same Sex Marriage Bill – Transgender Implications.
Oh go on then, click here for a template letter, but be warned - it will overwrite your existing message, so save it if needs be.