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Spousal Exit Clause

Excellent News!

We had some really excellent news (March 2022) regarding our campaign to retain the Spousal Exit Clause in the Gender Recognition Act.


The UK Government's response to the Women and Equalities report into reform of the GRA was released and we're pleased to see it explicitly stated that our rights are not under threat (at least for the lifetime of this parliament!)


The government say:

"30. A marriage or civil partnership is a contract between two individuals, the nature of which cannot be changed without the consent of both parties. For this reason, we consider
it is equitable for the “spousal consent” requirement to remain in place.
31. Spousal consent does not mean that a spouse can prevent their partner from securing a GRC. It is a safeguard for the non-transitioning spouse to decide whether they want
their marriage or civil partnership to continue before their partner is granted a GRC. It is right that both parties should have an equal say in the future of their marriage or civil partnership, given transition can fundamentally change its nature.
32. More widely, we anticipate that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which comes into force later this year, will help to reduce conflict in such circumstances."


We're particularly pleased by how clearly it is stated that the clause does not prevent transition and feel that this is a vindication of our position against the lies told about the "spousal veto" over many years.


It’s also reassuring to see the acknowledgment that “no fault” divorce can stand alongside the spousal exit clause in protecting trans widows, but it cannot replace it.


Thanks to all the trans widows who contributed to our response to the consultation, it’s gratifying to see that we have had a real impact.


The full response can be found here.

The process/our involvement is detailed below.

Giving Evidence

Subsequently, Trans Widows Voices were invited to give oral evidence to the UK Parliament's Women and Equalities Select Committee alongside FiLiA, Womans Place and Fair Play for Women, with regards to the current inquiry over reform of the Gender Recognition Act.


Due to concerns over our contributor's privacy we were unable to attend the live broadcasted oral evidence session and at the request of the Committee, submitted further written evidence instead.


This evidence has now been published and can be found here.

We are pleased that Trans Widows are now being seen as stakeholders in this debate, particularly in relation to the Spousal Exit Clause.

The Call For Evidence

The Women and Equalities Committee of the UK Parliament  launched a call for evidence to a new enquiry into the Gender Recognition Act.  Evidence had to be submitted by Friday 27th November 2020.

Trans Widows Voices produced guidance for individuals and organisations to use when responding to the question regarding the Spousal Exit Clause (or Spousal Consent, sometimes erroneously referred to as the Spousal Veto).  We will retain this information on our website for the time being as no doubt it will be useful again in the future and it provides a good basic guide to the issues

Our submission to the committee can be viewed here.

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