Ireland lauded for new gender recognition laws


ireland_transgender_new_lawThe Irish government has been praised for its decision to base the legal recognition of a person’s gender on self-declaration rather than on a medical practitioner’s statement.

The amended legislation will, following the legalisation of same-sex marriage, also remove a current requirement that forces already married people who legally change their gender to divorce their partners.

“We commend the Irish Government on committing to these two important and progressive changes,” said Colm O’ Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.

“These crucial reforms will help ensure this new law protects the human rights of transgender people – one based on the rights and needs of the people who should be at its heart,” he said.

O’ Gorman explained that the “requirement of a medical practitioner’s supporting statement could have resulted in the stigmatisation of transgender people, and unnecessary diagnostic assessments.”

He added: “This new approach of self-identification will allow a person’s own sense of their gender identity to be respected, in line with international human rights standards.”

Amnesty, however, said it was still concerned that the bill  stipulates that 16 and 17-year-olds require a court order to obtain legal recognition of their gender.

It urged the government to instead apply a case-by-case approach towards children, “in which the child’s views and best interest are taken into account.”

Last month, 62% of Irish voters said “yes” to legalising same-sex marriage, making Ireland the first nation to put marriage equality to a public vote.

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