Australian Law Will Allow People To Change Genders On Their Birth Certificate Without Surgery

Alfie PowellAlfie Powell in News, World
Published 12.08.19
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A new law is being discussed in Victoria, Australia, that will allow people to change the gender on their birth certificates without having sex-change surgery.

Months after Tasmania’s upper house voted to make gender optional on birth certificates, state Attorney-General for the Victorian Parliament Jill Hennessy has introduced an amendment to Birth, Death and Marriage registration.

Seeking to make the certificate laws ‘compatible with human rights’, the new bill – known as the transgender law – will see a huge step forward in the world of transgender rights.

Of course there are those who will oppose the law, but the Labor government’s bill will more than likely pass through the Legislative Council, thanks in part to the Greens and other left-leaning parties.

victorian parliament transgender

Animal Justice Party upper house MP Andy Meddick, who has a 20-year-old transgender son, Eden, rejected the sentiment that the law was purely symbolic and far more than just a piece of paper, saying:

No, it’s not symbolic. For people who are transgender this means everything in the world to them.

For them, when they go to get a driver’s licence, the driver’s licence doesn’t reflect who they are. When they go to get a passport, it doesn’t reflect who they are,’ he said.

They feel isolated, they feel separated from the rest of the world.

This is another way, it makes us more inclusive as a society that we recognise that these people are who they are and they’re part of us and we love them and we support them.”

As mentioned earlier, this came after Tasmania allowed people to remove their gender from their birth certificates in a bid to make transgender people feel more comfortable and represented.

transgender law australia

Transgender activist, Martine Delaney, said changes such as these, particularly removing gender markers from birth certificates, will have a significant impact on transgender people.

It is not doing away with gender. That information would still be recorded by the registrar and medical records in the hospital,” she told The Australian.

It just simply wouldn’t be displayed on the birth certificate.

Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor, whose son Jasper is trans, stated the changes would be life-changing for every trans person living in the state.

The flow-on effects of being able to have your birth certificate either gender neutral or changed to your correct gender are profoundly life-changing.

At the moment in Tasmania, if Jasper wants to have his birth certificate changed he will need to have a hysterectomy, and that is cruel and unnecessary.”

Obviously these laws have had their critics, but the reasoning for that is completely beyond me. If you’re against this, no-one’s dragging you to the closest government building and forcing your hand to sign off on your birth certificate saying you’re a woman now.

It’s one of these laws that will make absolutely no change to your life whatsoever, unless you’re one of the many people it’s helping. No-one is drawing a short straw with gender being changeable on birth certificates.

It’s a win-win and it’s lovely.

Images via Getty

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