Gender Self-ID Law Passes In New Zealand
New Zealand has unanimously passed a historic gender self-ID law.
The Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill, first introduced in 2018, removes the requirement for trans people and others in the LGBTQ+ community to provide evidence of a medical procedure in order to change the sex on their birth certificate, instead favouring a ‘statutory declaration’.
It passed after its third reading in parliament, and makes New Zealand one of around 15 overseas jurisdictions that have made similar moves to simplify the process behind changing a person’s sex on documents, including Denmark and Spain.
‘Today is a proud day in Aotearoa’s history. Parliament has voted in favour of inclusivity and against discrimination,’ internal affairs minister Jan Tinetti said, adding that trans people and others had been ‘hurt, mocked, belittled and discriminated against’ for supporting the bill over the past few years, The Guardian reports.
‘People who like any one of us just want to be accepted for who they are and be treated with dignity and respect… a lot of discussion was aimed at trans women. As a cis woman I am proud to stand alongside my sisters. Trans misogyny is still misogyny… we are changing legislation that is truly a step closer to an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand. Keep proudly being you,’ she added.
Green Party MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, a longtime advocate and ally, told NZ Herald, ‘This bill recognises that those who need to amend their birth certificate can do so, that the courts do not have the right to make that choice for them, that parents do not have that right, that cis-gender people who don’t even know them or care about them do not have that right.’
‘As a takatāpui, cis-lesbian fem ally to our takatāpui, trans and intersex non-binary whānau, I am very proud to commend this bill to the house,’ she added.
Nicola Grigg, the National Party’s spokesperson for women, recognised the bill had a ‘complicated’ passage through parliament, ‘but this bill is in a much better state than when it was introduced in 2017’.
‘If we shut down the full expression of topics such as this, we won’t benefit from considering a full range of views as we debate complex policy and ideas and I do worry about the societal impacts of people feeling that their views are no longer able to be expressed,’ she said.
The changes are set to come into force in 18 months, during which time parliament will consult with LGBTQ+ groups.
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