Dead people should be able to change their gender, says Labour MP

Charlotte Nichols wants a change to the Gender Recognition Act
Charlotte Nichols wants a change to the Gender Recognition Act

A Labour MP has called for the law to be changed so transgender people can have their gender changed posthumously in official records.

In a written question to Parliament last month, Charlotte Nichols, the MP representative for Warrington North, asked if the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004 could be changed “to allow transgender people who are deceased to be legally remembered by the gender they lived by”.

Replying, Stuart Andrew, the equalities minister, said that the Government had no plans to further amend the Act.

He said: “Where a person was using their new gender with an organisation prior to their death, and that was on their personal records, then we anticipate that the organisation would engage with their family members using the new gender.”

Mr Andrew added that “[t]hese organisations could include the NHS”.

His response has fuelled concerns of “self-ID becoming normalised in the NHS.”

Charlotte Nichols asked a written question last month
Charlotte Nichols asked a written question last month - PA

Last year, almost 14,000 campaigners asked the Government to amend the GRA to allow for posthumous and expedited grants. Although it was rejected, earlier this year a coroner recorded a 17-year-old transgender teenager’s sex as “male” in what is purported to be the first incident of its kind.

Max Summer, born female, who died by suicide on May 13 2022 while under the care of Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, which the coroner accused of contributing to his death.

‘Patently absurd’

Speaking of recent developments, Sir Liam Fox, the MP for North Somerset who formerly worked as a medical doctor, said: “It is patently absurd, factually inaccurate and a statistical distortion. We should not be encouraging the idea that people can simply choose to change their biological status nor should we bend truth to accommodate an ever more extreme and dangerous ideology.”

The former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said: “The Tories are a woke government who pretend not to be and will lie to the voters at the next election. Just look at the evidence.”

Lucy Marsh, a spokesperson for The Family Education Trust, said: “It’s extremely concerning that Labour appears to be pushing towards introducing gender-self-ID through the back door. If coroners are allowed to lie on public record about the sex of deceased children, this will surely be a slippery slope towards self-ID becoming normalised in the NHS. If this is legally allowed, what’s to stop deaths being recorded as ‘non-binary’ or babies being registered as the opposite sex? The Government needs to crack down on this and make sure the NHS is based on reality rather than fantasy.”

Ms Nichols told The Telegraph: “My question follows on from a recent petition supported by many of my constituents, regarding amending the Gender Recognition Act.

“The genesis of the petition was the murder of my constituent Brianna Ghey, whose life was brutally cut short before she was old enough to have formal legal recognition of who she was and how she will be remembered by her family, friends and our community.

“At that time, the Government said they did not believe any reforms were necessary, but it is something I continue to have raised with me by my constituents and will continue to raise with the Government accordingly so that this can be an option available to bereaved families should they so wish.”