Queensland, a state in Australia has announced plans to allow teenagers to change genders on their birth certificates. without their parents’ permission
Currently, if people in the state want to change the gender on their birth certificates, they would have to undergo reassignment surgery. But the new plans from the state Labor government, which are expected to pass comfortably, will drop the surgery requirement, Mail Online reports.
According to the publication, they would also allow new parents to not list any gender on the documents of their newborn baby.
Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government is the latest Australian state to make gender optional on birth certificates after Tasmania became the first in 2019.
Queensland’s new law means that NSW is the only state still requiring people to undergo reassignment surgery before changing birth certificates.
One of the main motivations for the law change is the cost of reassignment surgery, which is not covered by Medicare and could cost about $80,000.
If the new plans are passed, several other changes will also come into force.
Children older than 16 will soon be able to legally self-identify as a different sex without parental consent, needing just a supporting statement from an adult who has known them for at least a year.
Meanwhile, children aged 12 to 15 will require their parents’ permission to change their birth certificate.
However, they can still apply to the courts if their parents do not support them.
Queensland will also not require a medical statement from a doctor or psychologist – something that is needed in Western Australia and is already adopted in South Australia, the ACT, and Northern Territory.
Despite being supportive of the plan, the Queensland Law Society has warned the changes to gender could lead to problems in the court.
Law Society president Kara Thompson said: ‘We seek further clarification on how verification of identity processes are to be managed in the absence of a sex descriptor appearing on a person’s birth certificate, where current procedures refer to ‘gender’.
‘Without further consideration of the distinction between the two concepts (sex and gender), especially as applied across the current Queensland statute book, there may be unintended consequences that flow from the implementation of the bill in its current form.’
Sally Goldner, spokeswoman for LGBTIQ lobby group Just Equal, said reforms would reduce invasion of privacy and stress.
‘The reform makes life fairer and easier for trans and gender- diverse people and reduces invasion of privacy and stress due not having to constantly ‘tell your story’ to total strangers,’ she told the Australian.