Legal reforms for trans and gender diverse Tasmanians have been met with resistance from the state government over the removal of gender from birth certificates.
Advocates say that there is no need for further delay on the reforms, and that the government is being misleading in saying that Tasmanians have not had their say on the reforms.
It would mean trans and gender diverse Tasmanians would not be obliged to disclose if they are trans in the process of applying for jobs, among other tasks which require identification.
If the amendments are successful, information about a child’s gender would not longer be collected by the registrar unless obliged to do so by a court or if mandated by a federal law.
Anyone aged 16 or over would be able to later declare their legally recognised gender, and those under 16 would require the express wish and an informed decision from the child as well as a declaration from at least one parent.
Any disputes over a child’s legally recognised gender would then need to go before a magistrate.
Transforming Tasmania spokesperson Martine Delaney said, “In 2016 there was a statewide inquiry into these issues by the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission which showed widespread support for reform.”
“Since then Transforming Tasmania has encouraged public debate on the reforms we want, and has met regularly with the State Government to discuss these reforms and put forward our suggested amendments.
“For the Government to claim that this reform has been sprung on Tasmania and there is need for further consultation is misleading and just an excuse for unnecessary delay,” she said.
Delaney said that removing gender from birth certificates as a default position would simply be in line with previous reforms on what information birth certificates detail.
“Tasmanian birth certificates used to include information about race but that was removed because it was irrelevant for most people and allowed discrimination against some.
“In the same way, we should allow people the choice about having gender references on birth certificates.
“Last year Tasmanians rejected the No case’s fear-mongering about transgender human rights by voting Yes more strongly than in any other state except Victoria, giving the Government a strong mandate for this over due reform.
“For too long, transgender and gender diverse Tasmanians have endured some of Australia’s worst laws on gender recognition and now it’s time to for us to lead the way as we have done on other LGBTI human rights issues.”
The reform would mean that transgender Tasmanians would no longer be forced to divorce their spouse or undergo surgery in order to amend the gender marker on their birth certificate for official purposes.
It would also help prevent unnecessary surgeries on intersex children in order to fit binary gender markers present on birth certificates currently, with Transforming Tasmania having lobbed for intersex reform alongside their other issues.