10/03/2011 09:17 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

UK Passports Drop 'Mother' And 'Father,' Support Gay Parents

Gay rights proponents have scored a major win in the UK with a change to the way parents are listed on passports applications. While applicants have long been required to fill in slots marked "mother" and "father," they will now have the option of listing "parent 1" and "parent 2," reports the Daily Mail.

The changes, set to take place by December 2011, come after LGBT lobbyists complained that being required to use traditional heterosexual terms for parents is discriminatory to households with same-sex couples.

"IPS is planning to amend the application form and associated guidance to deal with same-sex parents applying for a passport on behalf of a child," spokesman for the Identity and Passport Service told The Daily Mail. "It is essential that any parent provides the necessary information on their status as parents or guardians when applying for a passport on behalf of their child. This protects the interests of the child and ensures that IPS is able to issue passports securely and safely to the right person," he said.

While LGBT advocates celebrate the move, not everyone in the country is smiling. "Fathers and mothers are not interchangeable but have quite distinct roles to play in the care and nurture of their children," said Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust. "It is high time ministers started to represent the interests of the country as a whole and not capitulate to every demand made by a vocal and unrepresentative minority."

Earlier this year The United States government made similar changes to passports and just weeks ago Australia announced that it would provide three gender options on passports -- female, male, and X -- in an effort to be more inclusive to transgender and intersex citizens.

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