Feeds

Hillier appeals to transgender community to save ID cards

Two-for-one deal

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

New Labour never give up. Even out of government, they are still looking for groups of individuals who, they believe, are just salivating at the prospect of the chance to carry a shiny new ID card.

The latest group lucky enough to enter their sights just happens to be the transgendered. The Identity Documents Bill, which is intended to assert the Coalition’s new position vis-à-vis matters like identity cards is currently at the Committee stage in the House of Commons.

On Tuesday, Labour MP and one-time Identity Minister Meg Hillier was on her feet proposing an amendment, which stated: "Any ID card issued to a transgendered person, which is valid immediately before the day on which this Act is passed, shall continue to be valid until the Secretary of State has laid before both Houses of Parliament a report to the effect that the Secretary of State is satisfied that an identity document in the assigned gender is available for issue to a transgendered person."

Clear?

The point she was attempting to get at was that individuals who are in the process of transitioning – that is, mid gender re-assignment – could face embarrassing situations due to the fact that they might wish to maintain the façade of one gender at work, whilst being fully "out" to friends and family.

Labour had previously made provision for transgendered individuals to be allowed to own two ID cards, one in each gender.

The amendment was then taken out and given a good kicking, in polite parliamentary style, by two Lib Dems: the new MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert, and Lynne Featherstone, Junior Minister responsible for the Equality brief.

Huppert instantly spotted the logic failure at the heart of Hillier’s proposal. While the amendment was intended to prevent a particular group being "outed", the fact that this amendment would make the transgendered the only group of UK citizens in the country still carrying identity cards would be a de facto outing by the government.

He also introduced an intriguing notion and marker for future debate, suggesting that maybe the simplest solution was not more bureaucracy, but the removal of gender identity from any documents unless it was absolutely necessary.

Lynne Featherstone was equally in no mood to give ground. She pointed out that "this clause would have no practical effect except for requiring the Secretary of State to lay an unnecessary report before both Houses of Parliament. I am sure that is not what the hon. Lady intended, but that would be the effect of the new clause."

The amendment was withdrawn, with Hillier grumbling aloud about the lack of consultation and an evidence-based policy on the part of the Coalition.

Bootnote

According to Meg Hillier’s constituency site, she is "currently a junior minister at the Home Office".

This may come as news to the Coalition, who may be working under the misapprehension that Labour Members of Parliament had been removed from offices of state when the last administration departed, in early May. Perhaps this is not the case – and Ms Hillier is still secretly beavering away beneath their very noses. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
UK.gov chucks £28m at F1 tech for buses and diggers plan
Well, not really F1 but who's heard of LMP and VLN*?
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.