Transgender Woman Set For Deportation For Mandatory Military Service in Singapore Granted to Stay in UK
Apr 28, 2016 06:00 AM EDT
A transgender woman, who was drafted to a compulsory military service as a man in Singapore, was granted not to leave UK. Despite living as a woman in the UK, she is still legally recognized as a man in the Asian country.
The 33-year-old Singaporean transgender woman appealed to the British court for her to stay in the UK. Two court judges ruled not to force her to go back to her home country, according to the Guardian. However, the Home Office said she should return to Singapore as they claimed the discrimination would not seriously harm her.
She came to the British country in September 2004 as a student. The Home Office accepted her new gender as a female as well as on her Home Office ID card. The transgender woman, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, said she already served in December 2001 and June in 2004 when she was still a man, adding she was uncomfortable with it.
According to Pink News, though she has been living as a woman for the past decade in UK, she is still legally recognized as a man in Singapore. Once she declined to take part in the military service, she will stay in prison for 15 months and will be ordered to pay a fine.
Her representing lawyer, S Chelvan of No 5 Chambers, argued that sending her back would mean giving her a punishment as a man. However, Home Secretary Theresa May, contended the discrimination she will experience would not be because of her new gender. If she is sent back to Singapore, she would have to do two weeks a year of military service until 2023.
The Singapore country conscripted men to do a full time military service for two years after they turn 18. They are "obligated to be called up for a period of several weeks each year as a "reservist" in the army. The reservist period lasts till the man is 40, or 50, depending on his rank," Mashable quoted.
The Home Office appealed against the judgment, but this week a second judge rejected the appeal and also found in the woman's favour.