Poland parliament passes first trans recognition bill

‘It was the first time we heard policymakers recognizing that trans citizens need to have their dignity assured’. The Polish parliament’s lower house has passed the country’s first transgender recognition legislation.

Poland’s first transgender MP, Anna Grodzka, introduced the Gender Accordance Act in May 2012, and it was finally passed on Thursday (23 July) by 252 votes to 158, with 11 absentations.

Under the proposed law, an unmarried transgender citizen would be able to apply for a new birth certificate and new documents proving their educational and employment history without having to undergo surgery or hormone therapy.

They would, however, need to present two independent confirmations of ‘being a person of a different gender identity than the gender legally assigned’ from a clinical psychologist or doctor.

Although Poland has legally recognized transgender people since the the 1960s, the requirements have never been codified which has led to confusing court proceedings.

‘It is a huge victory for trans people in Poland,’ said Wiktor Dynarski, president and executive director of the advocacy group Trans-Fuzja Foundation.

‘For the past few days we have seen members of parliament advocating both against and for the law, but it was for the first time that we actually heard Polish policymakers openly protecting bodily autonomy of trans people and recognizing that trans citizens need to have their dignity assured.’

The Gender Accordance Act still needs to be passed by the senate and signed by the president before it can become law in January 2016.

For further details, please read here.