New Zealand passes historic self-ID bill for Trans people

A self-ID bill for Trans people has just been unanimously passed by New Zealand’s parliament, marking great strides for LGBTQ+ rights on the island.

Auckland Pride in New Zealand
Image: Facebook @AucklandPride

The bill which will allow Trans people in New Zealand to self-ID has finally come to fruition after four years of debate.

Originally introduced in 2018, the unanimous vote “in favour of inclusivity and against discrimination” took place today, December 9, following its third reading.  The bill, which will come into effect in 18 months, will allow Trans people in New Zealand to make a “statutory declaration” to change their gender marker without the requirement for medical backing.

“This bill recognises that those who need to amend their birth certificate can do so,” said Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, Green Party MP, “that the courts do not have the right to make that choice for them, that parents do not have that right, that cisgender people who don’t even know them or care about them do not have that right.”

“As a takatāpui, cis-lesbian fem ally to our takatāpui, trans and intersex non-binary whānau, I am very proud to commend this bill to the house,” Kerekere, cisgender lesbian and active Trans ally, went on to say.

The 18-month window before the bill becomes live will allow for input from the LGBTQ+ community on how best to go forward, making time for conversations about how to be inclusive for non-binary people, young people and other cultures, PinkNews reports.

Jan Tinetti, Internal Affairs minister, said that although the Trans Community in New Zealand had been “hurt, mocked, belittled and discriminated against” during the period of debate surrounding the bill, “Parliament has voted in favour of inclusivity and against discrimination.”

“A lot of discussion was aimed at trans women. As a cis woman I am proud to stand alongside my sisters,” said Tinetti.

“Trans misogyny is still misogyny… We are changing legislation that is truly a step closer to an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand. Keep proudly being you.”

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