The Victorian Government has introduced a bill that removes the need for trans, gender diverse and intersex people to have undergone sex affirmation surgery before being able to apply for a new birth certificate.
“Nobody should be forced to undergo major surgery or choose between maintaining a legal relationship with their spouse just to get a birth certificate that reflects who they are,” says Attorney General Martin Pakula. “We are delivering on our election promise to ensure equality for all Victorians.”
Delivering on another equality agenda election commitment, the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2016 also ensures couples will no longer be forced to divorce if one partner wishes to apply to change the sex recorded on their birth registration.
Under the changes, an applicant will be able to nominate the sex descriptor in their birth registration as male, female or specify a gender diverse or non-binary descriptor. The Bill also introduces a new process enabling parents or a guardian to apply to alter the sex recorded on their child’s birth registration.
The process will require the child’s consent. The application must be accompanied by a supporting statement from a doctor or registered psychologist confirming the child has capacity to consent, and that the change is in the best interests of the child. Children over the age of 16 will be assumed to have capacity to consent.
The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages will be able to refuse to register an amendment descriptor that is obscene or offensive, or if it is not reasonably established as a sex descriptor.
“In making this important change, we’re not only delivering on our commitment, but removing another barrier for trans, gender diverse and intersex Victorians,” said Minister for Equality Martin Foley. “This shows once again that in Victoria, equality is not negotiable.”