On the one year anniversary of the Gender Recognition Act, Irish campaign groups are calling on the Government to ammend the legislation to include transgender people under 18 years of age.
The legislation, which came into place on September 8 2015, allows transgender people 18 and over to have their gender legally recognised, while those aged 16 or 17 must obtain parental consent, two medical opinions, and a court order before they can acquire legal recognition. People under the age of 16 are not covered by the legislation.
Launching a new campaign, Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and national youth LGBT organisation BeLonG To said it is essential that the legislation be ammended so that those under the age of 18 can be recognised.
“While legal gender recognition is not a magic wand to solve the negative experiences of young trans people in Ireland, in the same way that marriage equality didn’t stop all homophobia, it would however send a strong message to young people that they are believed, respected and equal,” says Moninne Griffith, Executive Director of BeLonG To.
“Legislative change is incredibly important,” added Broden Giambrone, Chief Executive of TENI (pictured above). “Trans people and their families have considerable support needs and it is clear that we still need to raise awareness about our diverse experiences. There is still a lot of work to do to ensure all trans people are included in Irish society.”
The Gender Recognition Act includes a provision that requires the Government to conduct a twoyear review of the operations of the Act. This will occur in 2017 and the Government must issue a report to the Oireachtas on the findings and conclusions.
“We have met with the Leo Varadkar, Social Protection Minister and his Department officials and look forward to a positive review of the Gender Recognition Act and to finally achieving recognition and protection for all trans people in Ireland,” said Griffith. “The Gender Recognition Act was an incredible step forward for the trans community in Ireland. But we’re not done.
“We will be actively campaigning to ensure that trans young people are protected and their rights must be enshrined.”
Watch this video about the experiences of young Irish people from IndividualiTy at the Transgender European Council Conference in Bologna Italy last June:
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