If passed into law, these reforms would allow people over 16 to change their legally registered sex more easily.
Spain’s lower house of parliament has passed a law allowing people over the age of 16 to legally change their registered sex without any medical supervision, making the country one of the first few It allows transgender people to simply change their status. manifesto.
The bill was passed by 188 lawmakers on Thursday, with 150 against, and will now move to the Senate. If it doesn’t change, as expected, it will become law within a few weeks.
Under the law drafted by the centre-left coalition government, minors aged 12 or 13 will need a judge’s permission to make the change, while those aged 14 to 16 will have to have a parent or guardian. legal guardian to accompany.
Spain’s equality minister Irene Montero told parliament, during a debate on the bill on Wednesday: “Ultimately, this law has ‘pathologically cleared’ the lives of transgender people and ensures rights of transgender people.
“Transgender women are women,” said Montero. She has previously denounced opposition to the bill as “a fear of transgender people”.
Moments ‘before and after’
To date, transgender adults need to be diagnosed by some doctors with gender dysphoria – a psychological condition where a person’s biological sex and gender identity do not feel right – in order to change their gender identity. change their status.
In some cases, they also need proof that they’ve lived for two years with the gender they identify with – or even records that show they’ve taken hormones.
Meanwhile, minors need judicial authorization.
The bill also proposes a ban on so-called conversion therapy to suppress sexual orientation or gender identity and, if passed into law, would establish fines and penalties for assaults on LGBTQ people.
It would also reverse a ban that prevented lesbian couples from registering children in both parents’ names.
Transgender rights groups say the law represents a “before and after” for LGBTQ rights. But some feminists see gender self-determination as a threat to overshadowing the concept of biological sex.
In Europe, Denmark was the first country to approve a self-identification system for people who wanted to legally change their gender in 2014.
In total, more than a dozen other countries have adopted similar laws.
On Thursday, Scotland became the first part of the UK to approve a self-identification system for people looking to convert.
The National Assembly debated intensely
Saida Garcia, vice president of the Euforia Trans Family Alliance, told the AP news agency that the reforms expected in Spain will bring change to many members’ daily lives.
“It’s always a problem when your ID doesn’t match your identity during a job interview, at the doctor’s office, or when getting on public transport,” Garcia said.
“We are delighted to have reached this point. Looks like it will never come,” she added.
The bill, sponsored by the far-left Unidas Podemos (United We Can), the grassroots party in the coalition government, has been the subject of an intense 18-month parliamentary debate.
It has been fiercely opposed by right-wing opposition parties and has also created some divisions with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist party, which has tried to introduce an amendment requiring court oversight of those 16 years old or younger want to change their registered gender but have not been successful.