Queensland gender reforms delayed until next year

Queensland attorney general Shannon Fentiman speaks at an event as government removes hiv co-payments
Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman. Photo: Facebook

Queensland’s Attorney-General has said long-awaited reforms to the state’s births, deaths and marriages laws to benefit transgender Queenslanders won’t be introduced until next year.

Trans and gender diverse Queenslanders must undergo expensive and invasive gender affirmation surgery before they can update gender markers on birth certificates.

Many can’t access the surgeries for various financial, medical, faith or personal reasons.

As a result, many must then “out” themselves in various situations requiring their birth certificate. The discrepancy can also lead to distressing misgendering.

Earlier this year, Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman (pictured) committed to introducing legislation to reform the state’s Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act.

Transgender advocates have campaigned for the important changes for almost a decade.

But Queensland has lagged behind almost every other Australian state and territory on the issue.

Queensland government to introduce transgender reforms in 2022

In state parliament, Labor Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman responded to a question on the reforms’ progress from Greens MP Michael Berkman.

Fentiman said on Wednesday the government will introduce updated legislation “as soon as possible”.

But with just days of parliament left for 2021, this will most likely be next year.

She said the “very important” amendments will “modernise our laws and make sure that people’s lived identity in Queensland match their legal identity.”

“These laws are complex, we are looking at modernisations that have happened in every other jurisdiction,” she said.

“Once implemented, we will see improvements in the delivery of important frontline services that Births, Deaths and Marriages deliver to Queenslanders.

“This is about marriage certificates, death certificates, changing a person’s name.

“It is absolutely important that we make sure that our laws reflect the community.”

Fentiman told parliament she held a community roundtable on the issue in October to obtain feedback.

“I am really proud that stakeholders are working with us to get this right,” she said.

“We hope to have changes to these laws introduced into the parliament next year.

“They will be introduced as soon as possible, but we do want to make sure we are consulting widely.”

Earlier this year, a parliamentary petition calling for the changes to Queensland’s laws attracted more than 10,000 signatures.

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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.

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  1. Paul Mitchell
    18 November 2021

    At least it is in line with what NSW currently does it seems on the BDMs issue. But when it comes to vaccines it is a very different story (71% to 91% rates)! Both NSW and QLD still legally requires surgery to change sex on a birth certificate.

  2. julain Gallimore
    19 November 2021

    Until the Queensland government make Laws Protecting LGBTQI people under legislation using the Words Sexual orientation judge’s and Magistrates will continue to be Sexist Homophobic & Transphobic.

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