Call for submissions in review of WA’s legal gender recognition process

Local LGBTI+ advocates are calling for submissions to support changes to existing Western Australian processes that allow legal recognition of one’s sex, gender or intersex status.

The call comes following a discussion paper from WA Law Reform Commission investigating current state laws and processes regarding recognition of one’s sex, gender or intersex status, as well as a successful motion at last year’s state Labor conference to scrap the Gender Reassignment Board.

The report released in August offers a number of recommendations to improve access to services for transgender and gender diverse Western Australians.

At present, Western Australians must apply to the Gender Reassignment Board to have their gender affirmed on official documentation such as a driver’s licence.

The current process requires an applicant to provide a letter from a medical practitioner who has carried our a reassignment procedure – be that hormone therapy or surgery – as well as a letter from a psychiatrist, psychologist or other counsellor, among other documents.

The WA Law Reform Commission’s discussion paper proposes a number of alternatives to this process, as well as key considerations as to why the process should change.

These recommendations include removing the requirement for a person to have undertaken a medical procedure to have their gender recognised, allowing people over 12 able to apply for a certificate to affirm their gender (with parental permission), and allowing for a non-binary “X” gender marker on documentation.

Under current laws, intersex children are also being assigned a gender by their parents before they reach 60 days of age. These proposed changes would no longer require a sex to be registered on a child’s birth certificate, in line with concerns raised by the intersex community.

WA Trans Equality is calling on the local community and allies to add their support to the changes with a pre-written letter, or their own unique submission.

For more information head to Submissions close Friday 19th October.

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