TRANS PEOPLE in Ireland will now not have to rely on testimony from psychiatrists or endocrinologists to have their gender recognised by the state.
Instead, their self-declaration will be accepted, for the purpose of updating passports, driving licences, obtaining a new birth cert, and getting married.
Tánaiste Joan Burton announced this evening that the Cabinet has agreed that, under the Gender Recognition Bill currently before the Oireachtas, changes of gender will be effected by a “statutory declaration,” for those over the age of 18.
A person who transitions gender will have their preferred gender fully recognised by the State for all purposes – including the right to marry or enter a civil partnership in the preferred gender and the right to a new birth certificate.
Following today’s Cabinet decision…amendments will be made to the Bill at Committee Stage to ensure there will be no need for a supporting statement from a medical practitioner.
The Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) has applauded the change, calling it a “hugely significant move” that makes Ireland an “international leader.”
TENI’s Chair, Sara Phillips added:
This is a momentous moment. To be given the respect to self-determine our gender is true equality.For once I can believe our community are seen as full equal citizens. Today I am so proud of our country.
The medical testimony requirement had been a controversial element of the bill, with Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan describing it as “an insult to transgender people.”
A person’s gender identity is a matter for each individual. Transgender people know their own identity. They don’t need medical evaluation to prove their identity to anyone.
The requirement will, however, remain in place for those aged 16 and 17, the Tánaiste has confirmed.
The government has also dropped a section of the bill that would have forced trans people who are married to either get divorced or not have their gender transition recognised.
Minister of State Kevin Humphreys explained:
As the marriage equality referendum has been passed there is no Constitutional barrier to a person in a marriage or civil partnership having their preferred gender legally recognised.