Transgender people in Victoria will no longer have to undergo invasive medical procedures before being able to update their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity after a bill was passed by the Upper House of Victoria’s state Parliament late last night.
”We did it! Birth certificate reform has passed in Victoria,” reform group Equality Australia posted to social media, late last night, after the vote.
“We achieved this together. Thank you! This win is a reminder of how powerful we are when we stand together.” ⠀
The bill had already been passed by the Lower House and will now go to Victoria’s Governor General for royal assent.
Previously, transgender people seeking to update their documents in Victoria had to have undergone “sexual reassignment surgery,” required statutory declarations from two medical practitioners confirming that surgery, and could only be recognised as male or female on their birth certificate.
Under the new rules, transgender adults will only need to supply a supporting statement from someone who has known them for at least 12 months which states that they believe the application to change the sex on their birth certificate is being made in good faith and that they support the application.
Parents applying on behalf of a child will need to provide a statutory declaration, and a supporting statement by a ‘prescribed person’ such as a doctor or psychologist, confirming that the application is in the child’s best interests.
If the child is under 16, these statements must also confirm that the child has the capacity to consent.
Where parents disagree about how to proceed, the dispute will be resolved by a Magistrate who will decide the child’s best interest.
The bill also allows people to self-nominate the legal sex on their birth certificate, including a range of gender diverse and non-binary descriptors of their choice.
The bill, which the Upper House passed in a vote of 26-14 around 9pm last night, brings Victoria into line with other jurisdictions including South Australia, the ACT, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
Western Australia also allows people to change their sex on their birth certificates provided they are undergoing hormonal therapy but does not recognise non-binary genders.
Queensland and New South Wales are now the only states to demand that a person undergo surgeries before they can change their sex on birth certificates.