Recognition for sex and gender diverse community members

Released 20/03/2014

The legal recognition of sex and gender diverse people in the ACT has been enhanced with the passing of new legislation, Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, said today.

"Canberrans will no longer be required to undergo sexual reassignment surgery before they can change their sex on their birth certificate," Mr Corbell said.

"By removing this invasive requirement, the Births, Deaths and Marriages Amendment Act 2014  strengthens the protection of the right to equality, the right to protection from compulsory medical treatment, and the right to privacy in the ACT."

The Act puts in place the legislative changes required to implement the Government's response to the Law Reform Advisory Council's report, Beyond the Binary, which was tabled in November 2013.

The passage of the Act coincides with other changes in ACT Government policy including legal recognition of sex and gender diversity by allowing people to identify as a third category - indeterminate/intersex/unspecified - on their birth certificates. This brings the ACT into line with the Australian Government Guidelines on sex and gender recognition, so that people will only require one set of documentation to change both their passport and their birth certificate.

 "Instead of requiring black and white distinctions that categorise rather than empathise, that allow for easy administration but not true inclusion, the ACT recognises sexual diversity and respects the contribution of all Canberrans to our community, no matter what their gender."

Other amendments made by the Bill include extending the time within which parents must register the sex of a child after birth from 60 days to six months  and amending the definition of 'intersex' to be consistent with the definition used in federal legislation.

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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