According an article written by the Minister for Equalities today, the Spousal Veto seems set to remain in legislation in England and Wales:
From 10 December there is also good news for married transgender people. You will now be able to change your legal gender without ending your marriage, provided you and your husband or wife agree to remain married.
It is entirely possible that this not intended to be such an announcement but is simply sloppy and insensitive drafting by the Civil Service who should, if they are paying attention, be well aware of the coverage the spousal veto has been getting. The announcement today was partly a cover for the less positive news arising from the publication of the response to the consultation into civil partnerships. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport have decided that they are not going to legislate for mixed-sex civil partnerships – something that is bound to end up facing continued legal challenge.
Sadly, the technical paperwork underlying the announcements also fails to shed any light on the issue but the inclusion of the 10th December date means we at least know that the government must have decided for sure by that date, when the first conversions happen.
A number of people, myself included, have already contacted the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to ask for clarification.