The Australian state of Tasmania is on the brink of removing gender from birth certificates to benefit transgender people.
Both the Labor and Green party amendments want to remove gender from the documents so trans people don’t have to disclose their transgender status when going about tasks where they have to state their identity, such as applying for jobs.
Other amendments propose removing the need for transgender people to have sex change surgery before switching gender on official documents, The Australian report.
Sue Hickey, Speaker of the Tasmanian House of Assembly, said:
I do think the world is changing and we need to be open to considering things that might discriminate or harm somebody. I’m very open.
Transgender activist, Martine Delaney explained the move would have a significant impact on transgender people, stating:
It is not doing away with gender. That information would still be recorded by the registrar and medical records in the hospital.
It just simply wouldn’t be displayed on the birth certificate.
However, the Liberal government, as well as Christian and feminist groups, believe the bill has been ‘hijacked’ by the transgender lobby.
Australian Christian Lobby’s state director, Mark Brown, told The Australian the bill was ‘essentially abolishing gender’, and ‘homogenising humanity’.
If you are legally a transgender woman, even if you have a penis you can go wherever you want in terms of women’s safe spaces.
According to News.com.au, Brown continued:
Amending a legal document in this way would have many unintended consequences, like jeopardising women only safe-spaces and encouraging potentially dangerous competitive inequalities in sport.
The sex a child is born with is a scientific and immutable fact. Birth certificates are used to detail such historical truths.
A person’s biological sex is changed or removed it greatly diminishes the significance and usefulness of birth certificates. Such changes, therefore, should be off-limits. [sic]
Bronwyn Williams, a spokesperson for Women Speak Tasmania, said it’s important to keep gender markers to ‘protect the integrity of the historical record contained in birth certificates’.
She continued in a statement:
Birth certificates are historical records that serve a number of demographic functions and inform both government policy and legislation on a wide range of areas.
This fiction has already eroded the rights of women and girls to female-only spaces and services.
If male-bodied people are permitted to be legally recognised as female on the basis of self-identification alone, as proposed by groups like Transforming Tasmania, women’s sex-based rights will be a thing of the past.
Greens leader, Cassy O’Connor, who has a transgender son, said the changes would end discrimination and make a real difference to lives, The Australian report.
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.
A vote on the decision is set to take place next month in Tasmania’s lower house.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.