Queensland is set to become one of the first states to change its marriage laws, allowing trans people to change their birth certificate sex without divorce.

The state-level requirement to divorce before legally changing sex pre-dates marriage equality.

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath will introduce legislation to update the law tomorrow, according to Brisbane Times.

Following the federal introduction of marriage equality, the states and territories were given 12 months to change their laws accordingly.

D’Ath said the law had caused distress to many trans Queenslanders, who were forced to make difficult choices.

“It has been unjust and unfair that some members of our community have been forced to face the distressing decision of choosing between their marriage and the legal recognition of their gender identity,” she said.

“The overwhelming Yes vote to marriage equality has given us an opportunity to make sure our laws capture the true fabric of all Queensland families.

“I’ll have more announcements in the near future about how we, as a community, can ensure our laws are truly reflective.”

LGBTI Legal Service president Matilda Alexander said the proposed change represented further progress towards equality.

“Our clients are faced with an impossible choice between embracing their true gender identity by divorcing their supportive partner, or continuing to live under the oppression of an official gender that does not match their identity but keeping their marriage,” she said.

“Last year, gay and lesbian Australians fought and won the right to equal love and [this] announcement will bring marriage equality to transgender people in Queensland as well.”

Most parts of Australia still require trans people to have sterilising surgery before changing the sex on their birth certificates.

A petition launched after the marriage equality decision is calling for the surgical requirement to be scrapped by state and territory governments.

Each state and territory must update its laws in line with marriage equality by December 9 this year.

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