Training for Registrars in Marriage, Civil Partnerships and Gender Recognition

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2009 National LGBT Conference
31 July 2009

Conference notes that there is growing awareness of the difficulties facing trans people who are married should they wish to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate. However, Conference notes that there is less awareness of the problems trans people face if they decide to annul their marriage in order to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate, and enter into a civil partnership. This is particularly acute if – as is often the case – the Court where they apply to have their marriage annulled has not had much experience with annulling marriages and no experience of issuing Gender Recognition Certificates.

Conference is concerned that guidance notes issued by the Gender Recognition Panel are not being interpreted properly by Registrars. Trans people, therefore, are being given inaccurate information by Registrars such as that both the Gender Recognition Certificate and the marriage annulment are all signed and dated before they will contemplate releasing dates for the Civil Partnership.

Annulment of marriage and registration of civil partnership should be able to take place on the same day. If this does not happen, it can have serious implications for a spouse’s pension rights within many pension schemes, including the local government scheme.

Conference therefore calls on the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Committee to:

1.Liaise with the Local Government Service Group to ensure Registrars receive adequate training and fully understand the guidance given by the Gender Recognition Panel;

2.Work with the Trades Union Congress and sister unions to raise awareness of these issues.