Tuesday, 12 April 2016 12:32

Government to end birth certificate discrimination

The Victorian Government is aiming to remove barriers around new birth certificates for trans, gender diverse and intersex Victorians. The Commission welcomes any change to the current legislation so that people are free to change the gender on their birth certificate without having to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

In an acknowledgment that the current laws are both discriminatory and confusing, the Victorian Attorney-General's Department is aiming to streamline the process, which also currently requires that a certificate can only be changed if a person is unmarried or is 18 years or over. This will have a significant implication for transgender children, some of whom have had to delay transition as schools require gender to match the birth certificate.

The Government is yet to provide any detail on how it will consider recording a person's gender, although Chair of Transgender Victoria Brenda Appleton is advising the Government to allow people to be recorded as male, female or to record their gender identity in a blank space.

Any changes to current legislation will bring Victoria into line with 2014 changes to ACT laws which gave transgender people the right to change the sex on their birth certificate without surgery. It also follows 2011 changes to passport rules allowing citizens to nominate their gender without surgery.

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