Tasmania’s groundbreaking gender reforms prove beneficial


gender reforms tasmania intersex children
Image: Jon Kudelka

LGBTIQ advocates today welcomed a new report giving Tasmania’s gender reforms the all-clear. They also called for the criminalisation of surgical intervention on intersex children.

Scroll down for video explainers

The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute (TLRI) report says Tasmania’s groundbreaking new gender laws have had a beneficial impact since they were enacted over a year ago. The report further states that the ‘unintended consequences’ feared by the State Government failed to eventuate.

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The TLRI also recommends criminalising non-consenting surgery on intersex children and compensation for harm arising from non-consenting surgery.

Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Charlie Burton, said, “The report confirms what many of us already experienced – the laws helped make the lives of trans and gender diverse Tasmanians easier.

“We’re also very pleased that the Law Reform Institute’s research found there weren’t the unintended consequences that some people feared.

“Tasmania’s world-leading reforms have been given a legal tick of approval and we urge other states to follow our lead.

“Now we can move on to address other issues so that trans, gender diverse and intersex Tasmanians are free from discrimination in all aspects of life, issues like banning unnecessary surgery on intersex children and giving appropriate support to younger Tasmanians who are transitioning.”

Gender Reform Explainer

Tasmania’s new gender laws

  1. allow gender to be amended on the birth certificate without the need for surgery or medical intervention
  2. remove the obligation for parents to record the sex of their child on the birth certificate, and to instead record it on a separate register.
  3. provides diverse options for gender descriptors in registration documents

The TLRI further recommends:

  1. new laws to establish clear rules for consent for medical intervention in relation to sex characteristics
  2. making non-consenting surgical intervention a crime
  3. making it easier for intersex people to obtain compensation for the harm resulting from non-consenting surgery

Tasmania’s are the most wide-ranging laws enacted in Australia. Victoria did, however, remove surgery as a  prerequisite before amending a birth certificate. But no other state allows sex to be optional on birth certificates.

The TLRI issued three videos by Tasmanian illustrator Jon Kudelka to explain its findings.


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