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Christine Goodwin, whose case launched the Gender Recognition Act, dies

Naith Payton December 19, 2014

Trans campaigner Christine Goodwin has died aged 77 after a long illness.

In 2001 she won her case against the United Kingdom at European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to be legally recognised as female. She had previously been unable to marry, or draw her pension at the age of 60, and had been unable to do anything that would require presenting her birth certificate, such as taking out a loan.

The ECHR ruled that the government’s refusal to grant her a new National Insurance Number and birth certificate breached her right to privacy. Due to her the fact her employer could trace her history with her NI number, her trans status was revealed to her work colleagues and she faced bullying and sexual harassment.

Up to that point, the UK was one of only four countries in the EU that did not allow trans people to change their legal gender. In response to the ruling, the UK government were compelled to create the Gender Recognition Act, which granted a huge amount of legal protection to trans people.

Ms Goodwin refused to be anonymous as she “had nothing to be ashamed of”. Her case was crucial in overturning previous discriminatory rulings against trans people and paving the way for full legal recognition and protection of trans people.

More: christine goodwin, ECHR, european court of human rights, gender recognition, gender recognition certificate, Trans, Transgender

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