In a landmark move, Tasmania has become the first Australian state to make gender optional on birth certificates.
The reforms were passed by the state’s lower house Wednesday afternoon on the casting vote of Liberal Speaker Sue Hickey, who voted against her party.
Birth certificates are not the only change to Tasmanian law – nine other amendments were changed in a bid to remove the discrimination of transgender and intersex people in the Births, Deaths and Marriage Act.
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Changes made in favour of equality for all
Some of these changes include the removal of the requirement for transgender people to have sexual reassignment surgery in order to have a new gender recognised.
It also grants permission to 16-year-olds to change their registered gender via a statutory declaration without permission from their parents.
“The quietest voices spoke the loudest,” delighted Tasmanian transgender rights activist, Martine Delaney told news.com.au. “I congratulate those upper-house members who put people before politics and who stood up for equality and inclusion.”
But, not everyone is happy
The no gender clause was met with outright disdain by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has called them “ridiculous”.
And in October last year, the Australian Christian Lobby said removing gender from birth certificates would impact women’s rights and “diminish the significance” of the official documents.
While the amendments are bound to create controversy, the option shows a willingness to consider the rights of all – which is far from a bad thing for our kids to learn.