Landmark transgender rights bill passes in South Australia but fails in Victoria
Significant transgender reforms were debated in two Australian states and met very different ends.
Good news and bad news out of Australia this week:
The good news is that the state of South Australia passed a law that will lift the requirement for surgery before a transgender person can legally change the gender marker on their birth certificate! The bad news is that a similar bill was being considered in Victoria, Australia, but it did not pass.
The passage of the SA bill is a significant moment for transgender people in Australia, where surgery, forced divorce, and bureaucratic wrangling before correct documentation can be granted is common across most states.
The bill, which passed 10-7, overturns the current requirement for transgender South Australians to submit a court application and prove they have had sexual reassignment surgery in order to change the sex on their birth certificate.
Under the new law, transgender adults just need to provide a statement from a doctor or psychologist saying they have “undertaken a sufficient amount of appropriate clinical treatment in relation to the person’s sex or gender identity”.
Transgender people under 18 will still have to get a court order to officially change their sex.
The bill also repeals South Australia’s forced divorce requirement. Previously, a married transgender person could only change the sex on their birth certificate after divorcing their partner.
Hooray, SA! Victoria and beyond: Don’t worry. It’s not over yet. We’ll get there.