Summary: Irish State to accept trans people’s own declaration as legal proof of their gender

Dublin, 3rd June 2015: the Irish Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, TD, has announced that transgender people in the Republic of Ireland will no longer require medical or psychiatric testimony to have their gender recognised by the state, or to change the gender marker on their birth certificate. For those aged 18 or over, the application process under the new Gender Recognition Bill will now be based on self-declaration. The Bill will also no longer contain the controversial “forced divorce” clause, which would have required a married trans person to divorce their spouse in order to have their gender recognised. SRT grantee Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), which has lobbied on these issues for some years, welcomed the government’s announcement.

In April 2015, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a comprehensive resolution on trans human rights. In relation to legal gender recognition, the Assembly called on Member States to “develop quick, transparent and accessible procedures, based on self-determination.” Only a small number of countries, including Malta, Argentina, Denmark and now Ireland, have so far adopted legislation of this kind.

There will be no change to the provisions for applicants aged 17 or under. A Court process will be required involving supporting medical statements before an application for a gender recognition certificate can be made.

TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone said, “TENI applauds the Government for this hugely significant move. Ireland has now taken its place as an international leader in this human rights area. The Government has shown great vision and conviction in ensuring the rights of trans people. This legislation will significantly improve the lived realities of trans people in Ireland.”

The necessary changes to the Gender Recognition Bill will be carried out when the Bill goes to Committee Stage from 17th June.

Full coverage from TENI’s website:

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