Victoria: Trans and gender diverse set to gain rights

Transgender Victoria chairperson Brenda Appleton.

The Victorian government tabled a bill on August 18 to allow transgender, gender diverse and intersex people the right to specify their gender on new birth certificates.

The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2016 also ensures couples will no longer be forced to divorce if one partner wishes to change the sex recorded on their birth registration.

People will be able to nominate as male, female or specify a gender diverse or non-binary descriptor.

The bill also allows for parents or a guardian to apply to alter the sex recorded on their child's birth registration. A person over the age of 16 will be assumed as having the capacity to consent.

“Nobody should be forced to undergo major surgery or choose between maintaining a legal relationship with their spouse just to get a birth certificate that reflects who they are,” Victorian Attorney General Martin Pakula said on August 18.

Transgender Victoria chairperson Brenda Appleton said the state's laws would be superior to similar laws passed in the ACT in 2014, because trans people would not be required to get a diagnosis and medical certificate to have their birth certificate changed.

“It's a human rights issue and we should have the right to have a birth certificate that references our gender, not the gender that's been assigned at birth," she said.

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