Today, the Gender Recognition Bill will go to the Seanad for Report and Final Stages – the last legislative step before the Bill becomes law, before being signed by the president.
The long awaited Gender Recognition Bill 2014 will enter it’s final stages in the Seanad this afternoon before being officially made law.
“This is a momentous occasion for the trans community in Ireland. Dr Lydia Foy’s twenty-two year journey is finally coming to an end. The Government’s formal recognition of the trans community means that we will finally step out of the shadows. I will be recognised for who I truly am,” said TENI Chair Sara R. Phillips.
Ireland will become the fourth country in the world to specifically introduce legislation based on self-determination removing all medical criteria from the legal recognition process. This means there will be no requirements for medical interventions or diagnosis of a mental disorder. Trans people over the age of 18 will be able to self-declare their gender by way of a statutory declaration.
“Self-determination is at the core of our human rights. We are the experts of our own gender identity. Trans people do not need other people to tell us who we are. There is a clear legislative trend towards self-determination and Ireland is taking its position as a global leader in the area of trans rights,” said Phillips.
Despite being progressive in some aspects, this Bill is still restrictive when it comes to under 18s. The Bill will allow for the legal recognition of individuals who are 16 and 17 years of age but will be difficult to obtain. Two medical practitioners certs, parental consent and a court order will be required. The legal recognition process will not be open to those under 16. TENI plan to keep fighting for the rights of trans young people.
“We want to thank all of our allies who spoke up for young trans people. This is not the end of our work. We will continue to lobby and advocate for young people to be meaningfully included in legal gender recognition legislation,” said Phillips.
“We’ve come a very long way. The passage of the Gender Recognition Bill signals a new era for trans rights in Ireland.”
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