In a step forward for its transgender residents, Tasmania is set to be the first state in Australia to remove gender from birth certificates.
A bill is to be passed in Tasmania’s lower house next month that would see the gender of a child removed from the details provided on a birth certificate. The proposed changes come as the state’s parliament was due to consider a bill that would remove the requirement for transgender people to divorce their partner if they wished to change their gender marker on official documents.
Not Doing Away With Gender
Martine Delaney, a transgender activist, says the proposed changes will have a hugely positive impact on the community. “It’s not doing away with gender. That information would still be recorded by the registrar and medical records in the hospital,” she told The Australian. “It just simply wouldn’t be displayed on the birth certificate.” For transgender people, the move would see challenges associated with obtaining documents that match their identity significantly reduced.
Opposition to Reform
The proposed bill has faced opposition from the Tasmanian Liberal Government, with Attorney General Elise Archer saying that the Tasmanian people as a whole should be consulted before changes are made to their primary identity document.
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“Labor and the Greens need to consult with Tasmanians on their proposed amendments to remove gender from birth certificates. No other State or Territory in Australia has taken the proposed step of removing gender from birth certificates,” she said in a statement.
Groups such as Women Speak Tasmania are concerned the changes would put the rights of transgender people above the rights of others. Bronwyn Williams, a spokesperson for the group, told news.com.au that she was concerned that laws where “biological males can be declared legally female” would impede on women’s rights. “Women’s sex-based rights will be a thing of the past,” she said.
It’s a tricky topic that makes us question just how important it is to have our gender on our birth certificate and whether it is doing more harm than good.
Do you think birth certificates should include gender? Let us know in the comments below.