Ireland is to officially recognise those who undergo gender reassignment surgery, as their new gender for the first time. The bill was approved in the Dáil (Parliament) today (June 20). The Bill was approved after an amendment was made to the bill which sees the minimum age reduced from 18 to 16.
The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton announced that the Gender Recognition Bill is to be submitted for drafting and will be enacted as soon as possible.
The legislation proposes that teenagers aged 16 and 17 will have the right to be recognised under their new gender once they have parental consent. Applicants 18 and over will only have to provide a self-declaration that they plan to live the rest of their life in their new gender, along with the approval from a physician.
16 and 17 year olds will also have to get a court order exempting them from being under the age of 18, and the signatures of two physicians stating that they are “sufficiently mature to make the application.”
If successful the applicant will receive a Gender Recognition Certificate which they can use to obtain a new birth certificate. This will give transgender people legal recognition of their gender in all dealings with the State, public bodies, and civil and commercial society.
The Bill stipulates that the applicant must remain single, pending the outcome of next years Referendum regarding same-sex marriage.
“The legislation will also allow for applications from persons with intersex conditions should they wish to apply. Intersex is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not fit the typical definitions of female or male. As a result, intersex persons may find themselves living in a gender at variance to the gender assigned at birth.”
The legislation has been praised by most and Burton said of it “The application process will be administrative, which I believe will be a streamlined and dignified process which protects all concerned”.