Tasmania, beautiful precious Apple Isle and the greatest state in the country, is set to blaze a trail for trans rights in Australia by becoming the first state to eliminate gender from birth certificates.
As reported by The Australian, the state’s lower house is expected to vote, and pass, a new bill next month that at its core will end the need for trans people to get divorced or undergo reassignment surgery before they can change their gender on official documents.
However additional amendments to the bill, pushed by the opposition Labor and Greens parties, will see gender removed from official Birth Certificates altogether, in what would be a national first.
The removal of gender from Birth Certificates has significant flow-on benefits for trans and non-binary people. Chiefly, it would remove the need for people to out themselves or disclose their gender identity when seeking official proof of identity or when applying for jobs. Gender information at birth would still be recorded by hospital registrars and in personal health documents, but the removal of gender from documents officially lodged with the Government would eliminate significant bureaucratic hurdles that currently exist for trans and non-binary people.
The crux of the bill has tri-partisan support from the Governing Liberal Party and the opposing Labor and Greens parties, meaning it will likely pass in some form when it gets put to a vote in November. However there is some consternation from lobby groups – primarily, would you believe, the Australian Christian Lobby – over the wording of the bill.
The removal of gender from birth certificates has also drawn the ire of feminist group Women Speak Tasmania, who have flown into a TERF-ish (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism) fit over the proposals, arguing that female-led facilities like the Girl Guides, girls schools, and domestic violence shelters would suffer as a result.
However, on the other hand, Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor, whose 20-year-old son Jasper is trans, stated the changes would be life-changing for every trans person living in the state.
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.
The Tasmanian State Parliament’s next sitting date is set for November 20th.