Petition launched calling for transgender law reform in Victoria

victoria labor premier daniel andrews
Photo: YouTube

Transgender advocates in Victoria have launched a petition calling on the Premier Daniel Andrews to reform gender identity laws.

Under current legislation, trans and gender diverse Victorians must undergo sterilising sex reassignment surgery before they can update their gender marker on their birth certificates.

In 2016, a bill to make it easier for Victorians to update the sex marker on their birth certificate was defeated by a single vote.

Labor and the Greens supported the bill but it was voted down by the Liberal National Coalition and crossbenchers.

In Victoria, a government can’t reintroduce defeated legislation during the same term.

But following the state election in November, advocates are petitioning Labor Premier Daniel Andrews and his colleagues to revisit the issue.

“This legislation would not negatively affect people at all, despite conservative fear-mongering that it will somehow endanger our society,” the petition reads.

“Trans people are not assaulting people in bathrooms or change rooms. Nobody is claiming to be transgender to get into gendered spaces and commit crimes.”

The petitioners call for either sex markers to be removed from birth certificates, or the requirement for surgical or medical intervention be scrapped.

The reform would help all transgender Victorians who want their documentation changed, the petitioners say.

“It helps us prove our identity to official institutions that refuse to change our markers or titles,” they wrote.

“We would be safer in public, when traveling to or through countries with more discriminatory policies.

“It would in general improve the quality of life and wellbeing of a group of people with rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm that should horrify any compassionate person.

“Transgender people are valid… Our laws should reflect this, and we have the opportunity to, at least in one small way, change them so they do.”

In April, the Tasmanian parliament passed legislation that scrapped the surgery requirement and also made sex markers optional on birth certificates.

Last week, the World Health Organisation removed trangender identies from its list of mental disorders.

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