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Non-binary US citizen granted permission to appeal gender recognition certificate ruling

Non-binary US citizen granted permission to appeal gender recognition certificate ruling


Ryan Castellucci granted appeal to challenge High Court's decision regarding nonbinary Gender Recognition Certificate

Ryan Castellucci, a non-binary US citizen, has been granted permission to appeal the judgment of the High Court regarding the refusal to issue them a non-binary Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). The Court of Appeal’s decision allows Ryan to challenge the ruling that "gender" is exclusively binary within the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) and that discrimination faced by non-binary individuals is justified on grounds of administrative convenience.

Despite having legal recognition of their non-binary gender in the US, including on official documents such as their birth certificate and passport, Ryan sought to have their gender recognised in the UK through the GRA. However, the Gender Recognition Panel (GRP) refused to issue Ryan with a GRC stating their legal gender as non-binary.

The GRA permits individuals to apply for a GRC based on having changed their gender under the law of an approved foreign country or territory. California, where Ryan's gender has been recognised, was on the approved list at the time of their application.

Ryan believes that obtaining a GRC stating their gender as non-binary is crucial for legal clarification of their gender identity in the UK. Despite meeting the criteria for recognition under California law, the GRP's refusal prompted Ryan to challenge the decision in the High Court.

In January 2024, the High Court ruled that while the treatment of non-binary individuals under the GRA was discriminatory, such discrimination could be justified on grounds of administrative convenience and cost. Ryan has now been granted permission to appeal these findings, with the Court of Appeal recognising the importance of their case.

Ryan emphasises their desire for a GRC affirming their acquired gender as required by the GRA. They stress that they are not seeking special treatment and are content with an option listing their gender as "not specified," provided it means "neither female nor male."

Ryan's legal representative, Kate Egerton of Leigh Day, asserts that the language of the GRA does not mandate binary gender interpretation and contends that the High Court's reasoning for justifying discrimination against non-binary applicants is insufficient.

The Court of Appeal will hear Ryan's case on a date to be confirmed, offering hope for progress in recognising non-binary individuals' rights under UK law.