The United Nations Human Rights Committee has ruled in favour of a New South Wales transgender woman’s right to change her gender on her birth certificate.
The woman, known only as Grace, was born as a male and legally married a woman. After transitioning to become a women, she tried multiple times to change her birth certificate but New South Wales authorities claimed she would need to get a divorce from her wife first, otherwise it would be condoning same-sex marriage.
Australian laws require married transgender people to get a divorce before they can change their sex on their birth certificate.
However, the UN committee labelled the laws as a violation of international human rights law.
Grace said the ruling should provoke Australia into legalising same-sex marriage.
“The obvious answer is to remove the stipulation of ‘one man, one woman’ from the Marriage Act,” Grace told BuzzFeed News.
Australia submitted to the UN that the current laws were essential in upholding the Marriage Act, which bans same-sex marriage.
The UN responded by pointing out that they failed to see how changing one’s sex on their passport does not interfere with the Marriage Act, while changing it on one’s birth certificate does.
Grace said the current Australian laws were manifestly unfair.
“It requires a person to collude with bureaucracy to create a falsehood – either that your relationship does not exist, or your identification be at odds with your appearance, identity and life, and therefore also a lie,” she said.