LGBTIQ+ advocates cheer proposed Queensland birth certificate reforms


Queensland AG Shannon Fentiman joins LGBTIQ advocates in introducing birth certificate bill
Image: Shannon Fentiman/Facebook

Queensland LGBTIQ+ group have applauded the state government’s introduction of a draft bill to make “life-changing” reforms to birth certificates benefiting transgender Queenslanders and rainbow families.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman introduced the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Bill 2022 to parliament on Friday.

She said the laws would “strengthen the legal recognition of trans and gender diverse people, and better recognising contemporary family and parenting in our modern society.”

In a key change, trans and gender diverse people would no longer be required to have undergone sexual reassignment surgery to register a change of sex.

“This is about making sure that a person’s legal identity matches their lived identity. [The bill] will bring Queensland into line with most other jurisdictions,” she said.

“The current Act unnecessarily medicalises the recognition of a person’s lived identity. Surgery is not always appropriate for trans people, and can be inaccessible and unaffordable as it is not covered by Medicare.”

Fentiman said under current laws, trans and gender diverse Queenslanders may face the prospect of “outing” themselves when applying for jobs, renting property or enrolling in university.

All other states and territories except for NSW and WA have already scrapped this requirement.

On Friday, Queensland advocates packed the parliament’s public gallery as the long-awaited draft legislation was introduced.

Australian Transgender Support Association Queensland (ATSAQ) President Gina Mather said the draft legislation was a “magnificent” step forward for Queensland.

It follows decades of lobbying, Gina said, including work by ATSAQ with numerous state Attorneys-General.

“Many people and groups have pushed for these changes as well. We thank the Attorney-General for making this a reality,” Gina said.

Kristine Johnson and Gina Mather at Queensland Parliament this week.
ATSAQ’s Kristine Johnson and Gina Mather, and RBWH Gender Service specialist Graham Nielsen. Image: Kristine Johnson

Current Queensland laws are ‘cruel, outdated and out of step’

Equality Australia spokesperson Ymania Brown is a Brisbane fa’afafine trans woman. She urged state MPs to support the government’s bill in the new year.

She said the changes will have a “life-changing” impact on trans and gender-diverse Queenslanders’ wellbeing.

“What most people in Australia take for granted as a simple piece of paper is, for trans and gender diverse people, the right to exist and be seen for who we are,” Brown said.

She said Queensland’s current laws are “cruel, outdated and out of step” with nearly every other state.

Ymania said having a birth certificate that doesn’t align with your gender is “a distressing experience to be forced to reveal intimate and private details about our bodies and lives, often in public settings.”

“Everyone deserves the respect and dignity of being recognised as themselves,” she said.

“After a long community-led campaign, this significant and long-overdue step to improve the lives of trans and gender diverse Queenslanders is very welcome.”

Queensland LGBTIQ advocates parliament birth certificate bill
Image: Jordan Hirst

Proposed birth certificate changes to benefit same-sex parents

Additionally, the draft bill would also allow same-sex parents to both register as either “mother” or “father” for the first time.

“The Bill will ensure that same-sex and gender diverse parents are able to record a descriptor on their child’s birth certificate that correctly reflects their parenting role,” Shannon Fentiman said.

Fentiman said the changes are important because birth certificates have “deep social and emotional resonance for people”.

Rainbow Families Queensland’s Heather Corkhill said those changes would mean all Queensland families would finally be recognised.

“Our children’s birth certificates will reflect our modern and diverse family structures, whatever our gender or sexuality, and no matter how our children are conceived,” she said.

The Queensland Council for LGBTI+ Health (QC) added that the reforms would also positively impact intersex Queenslanders and their families.

“The proposed amendments will also provide additional time to register the birth of a child with variations of sex characteristics,” QC CEO Rebecca Reynolds explained.

“[This will] reduce pressure on parents and allowing increased opportunity to gather information and support.”

The Queensland government’s proposed bill also improves recognition of non-binary Queenslanders and their chosen gender descriptors.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

2 Comments

  1. Julian
    6 December 2022
    Reply

    I live in FNQ AUSTRALIA. Transphobic Law’s promoted and used by people like Pauline Hanson are based on HATE.
    Some people are Brown and Trans Get Over it.

  2. Julian
    7 December 2022
    Reply

    Hermaphodite thousands of years ago GREEKS new about sex and different Sexies .
    Because of the Catholic church the Australian Christian education system is Homophobic Transphobic.
    Google the word HERMAPHODITE

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