Transgender and gender-diverse people in Victoria will be able to change the sex on their birth certificate without having to undergo gender reassignment surgery, after reforms were passed in parliament.  The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill introduced by the state government passed 26-14 in the Victorian upper house and now goes to the Governor for royal assent.  The bill will remove the current requirement for transgender people to undergo sex reassignment surgery before updating their birth certificate.  They will also be free to self-nominate their sex as male, female or many other non-binary descriptors of their choice.

Children will also be able to alter the gender on their birth certificate, provided they have parental support and a statement from a doctor or registered psychologist stating that the decision is in the child’s best interests.  Victoria became the fifth state in Australia to adopt the reform, bringing it in line with Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia and the ACT.  The government has argued that the law that requires a trans person to have sex affirmation surgery before changing their birth certificate should be scrapped because some people cannot, or do not want to go through an expensive and invasive medical procedure.

Labor had previously sought to amend Victoria’s birth registration laws in this way.  The Andrews government narrowly failed to change the law in 2016 due to opposition from the Coalition and some crossbench MPs.  The bill was introduced a second time by Attorney-General Jill Hennessy.  “These important new laws are about ensuring everyone can live their life as they choose, and that includes having a birth certificate that reflects their true identity,” she said.  “The current surgery requirement sends a painful and false message that there is something wrong with being trans or gender diverse that needs to be ‘fixed’ , that’s why we’re removing this barrier.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

Print This Post Print This Post