Tasmania’s transgender and gender diverse community celebrated today as long-awaited birth certificate reforms came into legal effect for the first time.
The new laws allow gender references on birth certificates to be amended without surgery, or removed altogether, while new anti-discrimination provisions also came into effect.
Advocates say the reforms are the most advanced in Australia and among the best in the world.
“A new day has dawned for transgender and gender diverse Tasmanians,” Tasmanian transgender advocate Martine Delaney said, earlier today, “Finally, we will have the same protections and recognition as other Tasmanians.”
“Now all transgender and gender diverse Tasmanians can have their true identity recognised, not just those wealthy enough to have surgery or those who are forced to get divorced.”
“The clear message is that our Parliament can legislate for all Tasmanians, not just the majority or the privileged.”
“I urge all other Australian states and territories to follow our lead toward a more inclusive and equal society for everyone, regardless of gender identity.”
Staff at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages ensured the first day of birth certificate amendments went smoothly.
Despite water being cut off to the Registry due to an emergency, and a general staff evacuation, the Registrar ordered in portaloos so a skeleton staff remained in place to serve those seeking birth certificate amendments.
Staff also wore lanyards in the colours of the transgender flag to show their support for the new reforms.
Delaney said a further review of the laws, as called for Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman, was unnecessary.
“The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute is currently conducting a comprehensive review to determine if any further legal amendments are required, so a second review by the Government would be a waste of time and money,” she said.
“People who were spreading misinformation about ‘unintended consequences’ should understand that this is just a small, life-affirming change for a small number of people and it’s not going to change life for anyone else.”