Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich and Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi have announced they will seek to amend the NSW Births Deaths and Marriages Act 1995 to end forced divorce requirements for people undergoing gender transitions.
NSW courts currently require trans people in the state to divorce their spouses before they can be granted legal recognition of their gender once they transition. Greenwich and Faruqi will draft amendments overturning this provision to the Act, which must be handled separately to any proposed state-based same-sex marriage bills.
Greenwich also plans to work with the Greens to amend the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act to introduce protections for the intersex community.
“It is unacceptable that relationships and families can be torn apart so callously by discrimination ingrained in NSW law,” Faruqi said.
“It is time the law fully recognises and protects our trans and intersex communities.”
Greenwich echoed her statement:
“The trans and intersex communities currently have to deal with unnecessary, cruel, and out-dated discrimination in NSW legislation and we will work hard to end this.”
A recent NSW parliamentary inquiry received advice from constitutional lawyers that the state may not be able to allow marriages for anyone other than people of the same sex via a marriage equality bill, provoking criticism from the intersex community, who would be excluded by such a bill.