'Men who identify as women in one of Britain’s biggest cities are able to change gender with just a single phone call or a click of a button.
Residents in Leeds can log on to the city council’s website or call its customer services team to inform officials of the change. After doing so, the information is simply passed to all council departments.
The new rules, introduced earlier this month, come amid a national debate over proposals to allow people to change gender without obtaining a gender recognition certificate.
This is an official document that legally recognises a person’s ‘acquired’ gender, and requires proof that the person has been living as that gender for at least two years.
The reforms were put on hold last year after a backlash from women’s rights campaigners, but Leeds has now become the first local authority to launch a sex-change scheme that does not require medical or legal proof.
The procedure is also available to women who identify as men.
Explaining the policy in an email to councillors, chief executive Tom Riordan said: ‘This initiative has the full support and commitment of the CLT (Corporate Leadership Team) as a means of helping our trans customers access our services in a speedier and more considerate way.’
He added: ‘There is no general requirement in these circumstances for a customer to provide a gender recognition certificate.’
Mr Riordan, whose council announced £24.3 million of cuts earlier this year, added that some documentation, such as a deed poll – a legal document that proves a change of name – may be requested by some council departments.
Proof of identity – a passport, driving licence or birth certificate – has to be provided in all cases, but not immediately.'
Read more: Men who identify as women in one of Britain’s biggest cities can 'change their gender' with just a single phone call - without medical or legal proof
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