The Cabinet is to discuss the Gender Recognition Bill today, after dropping the “forced divorce” clause following the passing of the same-sex marriage referendum.
The Bill, which was published in 2014, stated a requirement that all trans people hoping to be recognised legally in their true gender would have to divorce their spouses, as same-sex marriage was not legal. After the marriage equality referendum was passed on May 23, this requirement has been dropped from the Bill.
Today, Tánaiste Joan Burton will formally ask the Cabinet to agree to delete the clause in the Bill requiring applicants to be single in order to apply for gender recognition.
At the time of publication, the Gender Recognition Bill was deemed “disappointing”. The Bill requires that a primary treating medical practitioner carryout a medical evaluation of any applicant wishing to be recognised in their preferred gender. While those aged 16 and 17 will now be eligible for legal gender recognition, the process is difficult and a court order is required.
“It’s a social issue that needs to be addressed. People trapped from birth in the wrong gender identity it must be a torture, I can only imagine the torture that that would provide for people,” Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, said on his way to Government Buildings this morning.
“A fair-minded Government and a fair-minded people would seek to relieve that pain,” he added.
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