Report backs gender self-ID for Queensland

A Queensland parliamentary committee has backed controversial legislation that will make it possible for people to change the gender on their birth certificate in line with their personal identity.

Under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Bill , people as young as 16 will be able to apply to change the sex on their birth certificate with a just a statutory declaration and a supporting statement.

The bill defines gender as is “a person’s internal and individual experience of gender, whether or not it corresponds with the sex assigned to the person at birth”.

Children under 16 will need consent form both parents and a statement from a professional, such as a social worker or psychologist, or a court order if both parents can’t agree.

The legislation is consistent with the belief that people are born neither male nor female, but instead have an inherent gender identity that may or may not align with their anatomy.

Strengthening recognition of trans people

Committee Chair Peter Russo said the the bill seeks to modernise existing laws to make registration services “relevant, responsive and contemporary”, and strengthen recognition of trans and gender diverse people.

The report, released late on Friday, notes a range of concerns related to gender self-ID, including women’s rights and safety, women’s sports, the ability of children to make an informed decision about their gender, and arguments about whether sex should equal gender for legal purposes .

However the committee concluded that “On the basis of all evidence submitted, the committee is satisfied the Bill will achieve its policy objectives”.

Under the current laws, people in Queensland can only change their sex on their birth certificates if they’ve had sex reassignment surgery.

Under the amended laws,  people will be able to nominate a sex descriptor of their choice, including male, female, trans man, trans woman, ‘agender’, ‘genderqueer’ or ‘non-binary’ as long as the change isn’t sought for fraudulent or improper purposes.

Sex versus gender

The committee also backed conflating sex with gender, noting the Queensland Human Rights Commission’s view that using ‘biological sex’ as the only factor for interpreting sex could be incompatible with human rights.

The government says the legislation will put Queensland in line with all other states and territories – apart from NSW and WA – that  have removed the legislative requirement for sex reassignment surgery before changing the sex on their birth registration.

On the basis of all evidence submitted, the committee is satisfied the Bill will achieve its policy objectives.

Queensland Legal Affairs and Safety Committee report on the Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Bill

During hearings earlier this year the committee heard it was “madness” to believe people could be ‘born in the wrong body’ and that the leglisation could potentially give predatory men access to women’s spaces.

However proponents of the bill argued the changes were a minor administrative trade-off for improving the safety, emotional wellbeing and human rights of trans-identifying and gender non-conforming people.

Scottish experience

Nicola Sturgeon

The release of the report comes after Scottish man Adam Graham, who was last month convicted of two rapes, was sent to a women’s prison after identifying as a woman, “Isla Bryson”, while awaiting trial.

Bryson was later sent to a men’s jail amid public outcry.

The Scottish Prison Service has since reversed its inclusive policy and says transgender prisoners will now initially be sent to jails matching their sex at birth.

The UK government in January blocked a bill to allow people in Scotland to change their gender by self-declaration.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who had championed the nation’s gender self-ID campaign, resigned last February but denied it had anything to do with the contentious reforms.

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5 thoughts on “Report backs gender self-ID for Queensland

  1. Wow it seems Queensland has come a long way with the new bill they are pressing to get passed for their gender laws, I think it’s about time they match with almost the rest of the world but I do disagree with only requiring a written declaration from someone you’ve known for 12 months.

    I’m within the community myself but do not refer to myself as a “TransMale” – I have found it extremely helpful having professional help with my journey, I don’t think it would be wise to make it that easy for someone to change their gender on a legal document….

    While I never agreed with people having to butcher themselves to become who they always were, I still feel it would be wise to have a professional backing your decisions.

    I have met a lot of other trans people whom have later discovered they made the wrong decision, they have stated hormone therapy and surgery was just just too easily accessible. Especially for those under extreme PTSD that has not been resolved prior to this change.

    Going on hormones alone is an extremely dangerous course so it’s important to ensure the individual is making the right decision under the proper care and guidance. I also feel that in order to state a gender on a legal form you should be living as that gender in all aspects – I have met trans men whom aren’t on hormones and dress what they call fem. While each individual is entitled to how they express themselves, It doesn’t help older generations or the public’s understanding of what pronouns actually mean.

    In the end of the day we are all people living lives the best way we can, why make it complicated for society just because you crave individuality? Mind you from what I have seen of the community this individuality just puts you into a new box/stereotype where the word TransMan or TransWomen now has a “standard” expectation for look and behaviour.

    In my view if you truly felt as though you’re a man or a women then there is no need to put the word Trans in front of it- yes it’s a process and journey we all go through, but by the end of it you either identify as a man or a women.

    The world is complicated enough why make it harder? I hope Queensland will consider changing their bill to requiring professional guidance and help before being able to change your gender.

  2. I hope the idiots that want to pass this bill are all identified.
    There is a massive safety issue for women and kids if this succeeds.

    1. No there isn’t. Being identified as any particular gender will never stop a person entering a public space if they have the inclination to do so. Do you really think a label on a door would stop anyone who wants in?

  3. One can only wonder – at the stupidity and arrogance – of those whom we have in power. It is very easy – to decide what sex we are – Male or Female – just look in the mirror. If males want to identify as females – great – do as you please – but don’t try and take over – what Women are meant to be! Read the Dictionary – see how women are defined – what you are trying to do -is a total abuse of what we are to be. If anyone thinks it is O’k for a Male – to enter a female Toilet or Dressing room or participate in Womens Sport – we have become – totally deluded with stupidity. I would suggest – those who are given the responsibility of deciding – what is and is not necessary right for our Gender Identity – go back to school – and gain an understanding – of exactly is the difference – between Male and Female – instead of passing Legislation that is designed to totally abuse – or to create situations for anyone of the legitimate female sex.
    For those who are elected – to govern and make decisions for each one of us – how about – you get a backbone – and stand up against all this garbage you are trying to impose on the electorate.
    Let Men be Men, Women be Women, Boys be Boys and Girls be Girls.
    Maybe – a bit of straight talk is what is needed – to guide those – who think otherwise. It is amazing that we have survived for so long – with what was considered – the right way of living. I am amazed- that we got it – so wrong!

  4. Those of us born in Victoria have had the ability to change the gender on our birth certificates changed to match our true gender, rather than indicate the choice made by a doctor based on sex organs at birth for many years – and the sky remains happily in it’s rightful place. For those concerned about it not being “difficult enough” – getting all your documents in order is plenty hard enough. Concerns about whether someone is “trans enough” is one of the reasons that some non-binary people are wary of identifying as “trans” – there is plenty of research showing that gender is not binary, just as there is plenty of research supporting that gender-binary trans people exist. Refusing to acknowledge this does not change either of these realities. For those that are so certain there are “only two genders” and “the one given to you at birth is the one you are” – if that worked for you, congratulations. Be happy for your experience and stop trying to control how others – who you will most likely never meet – live their lives. The world is full of so many unique experiences that you will find a lot of people have experiences that are different to yours – different is not inherently wrong. Strawman arguments are just grasping at straws in many cases – things that are illegal will remain illegal (harming others, stealing, etc) and whether the people who would change their genders on their birth certificates are able to or not does not change the fact that we exist in the world both before and after this type of legislation is introduced. Whether it is acknowledged or not, my experience of gender does not conform to the binary-framework in which I was raised. I am not a “young person”. I was sent to a religious school. I did not have any language around my non-conformity for most of my life – the lack of language did not mean I fit in either of the available buckets though. And while it might matter to me what it says on my birth certificate, why does it matter to a stranger what my birth certificate says? Who does it hurt to have it accurately reflect my reality? No one is saying you need to make changes to your birth certificate this change can happen without impacting most people in any way at all, but it allows for the correction of an assignment error in a critical piece of legal ID for those that need it.

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