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Former equalities minister to challenge law on transgender name changes

February 24, 2017

A former Women and Equalities Minister is challenging a law on transgender name changes.

Nicky Morgan is putting forward a bill to help transgender people who work in businesses.

Mrs Morgan told PinkNews that she had recently been contacted by a transgender person in business unable to change her name with Companies House.

The woman had been unable to have her former name omitted from being on the public record and thus potentially being disclosed in the Register of Directors at Companies House.

The issue is a consequence of a loophole under the Gender Recognition Act (2004) which says they don’t have to treat former name details as protected information and therefore ensure they are not available for public inspection.

Mrs Morgan told PinkNews: “As a Minister I was clear that the Government should tackle remaining inequalities, unfairness, violence and discrimination faced by trans people.

“This is just one example of a loophole which could be exploited to the detriment of trans people.

“I am sure there are still others but I hope by highlighting this example Parliament can show it’s willingness to iron out other discrepancies.”

Now the Conservative MP is putting down a 10 Minute Rule Bill to amended the Act to enable former names not to be publicly disclosed.

10 Minute Rule Bills are put forward to the House of Commons by backbench MPs to make their case for a new Bill, in a speech lasting up to ten minutes.

The Bills rarely make it to law, but can be a good chance to highlight an issue publicly and bring it to the government’s attention.

John Cope, Vice Chair of LGBT+ Conservatives, said Theresa May is personally committed to LGBT rights changes.

He commented: “We welcome Conservative MPs’ commitment in parliament to the cause of equal rights.

“Despite significant strides forward in equal rights in recent years, more still needs to be done to address discrimination against trans and non-binary in particular.

“The Companies Documentation (Transgender Persons) ten-minute rule bill proposed by Nicky Morgan is a welcome step to ensure trans and non-binary are treated fairly and with respect.”

Morgan has previously called for the Church of England to accept same-sex marriages.

“Why on earth in the modern era do we ask a Bishop (or anyone else) not to be able to enjoy the same full relationship with his or her partner that the rest of us are able to enjoy?” she wrote.

Mrs Morgan also served as Education Secretary, where she was replaced by out MP Justine Greening.

More: companies house, company director, Nicky Morgan, Transgender

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