The McGowan government has introduced bills to Western Australia’s parliament to reform surrogacy laws and put an end to forced trans and intersex divorce.

The proposed changes to surrogacy laws would open up access to altruistic surrogacy arrangements for male same-sex couples as well as single men.

Last week, the WA government also introduced a bill to amend the legal provision which forces trans and intersex people to divorce their spouse before changing the gender marker on their birth certificate.

A bill which would see the establishment of a historical gay conviction expungement scheme is currently being debated and has been returned to the lower house with amendments.

The suite of LGBTI law reform takes place in a week where state politics has been overshadowed by developments in the nation’s capital.

Of the surrogacy amendment, WA Health Minister Roger Cook said, “By providing men with access to altruistic surrogacy arrangements in WA, we are ensuring that our legislation is reflective of contemporary society.

“A growing body of research tells us that it is not the sexual orientation of parents but a supportive and loving home environment that is the key to producing happy, well-adjusted children.

“Men already have access to fostering and adoption. These changes would give them another avenue for forming a family.”

State Attorney-General John Quigley called the end of forced trans and intersex divorce “another example of the McGowan Government’s commitment to addressing issues of discrimination and inequality in the LGBTIQ community.”

“The existing law forces a married person to choose between a birth certificate that reflects their reassigned gender, and the maintenance of the legal relationship with their spouse, even when that relationship is ongoing.

“Such a choice can have financial and emotional consequences for both people involved,” he said.

“The Government’s aim is to ensure the gender reassignment process is as streamlined, efficient and expedient as possible with a minimum of bureaucracy, expense and unnecessary complication.”

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