LGBTIQ+ advocates welcome Victorian birth certificate reform

LGBTIQ+ advocates have welcomed the news that the Victorian Government will make it easier for trans and gender diverse people to be legally recognised.

The Andrews Government announced today that the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill will allow adults to change their legal sex through administrative process without medical treatment.

The Bill will also enable recognition for people who do not identify as male or female, and allow trans and gender diverse children to change their birth certificate with the support of their parents or other prescribed person.

Transgender Victoria’s Chair Brenda Appleton, said the reforms would have enormous benefit for all trans and gender diverse people.

“This is a profoundly important reform for our community, as many of us are currently prevented from changing the most basic form of documentation to reflect our true identity,” Appleton said.

“Trans and gender diverse people face problems everyday accessing services and facilities most Australians use without thinking twice, because of our identity documents not matching who we are.”

Aram Hosie (pictured), a transgender man and Director of Engagement with Equality Australia has also welcomed the reforms.

“In other States around Australia where similar laws have been introduced the changes have delivered enormous benefits for trans and gender diverse people by allowing people to access official identification that matches who they are. The experience in these States shows that these reforms work,” Hosie said.

If these laws pass, Victoria will become the latest state to make the process of amending legal document easier for trans and gender diverse people, with South Australia, the ACT, the NT and Tasmania having already legislated to reform birth certificate laws.

Mr Hosie noted this is an area of law reform that is evolving quickly.

“Just as we encourage NSW, WA and Queensland to update their birth certificate laws, so too we hope that the Victorian Government will continue to stay across legislative developments in this area and strive to ensure that our laws meet the needs of trans and gender diverse people,” Hosie continued.

Community advocates urged parliamentarians to educate themselves about trans and gender people ahead of the debate in Parliament.

“This Bill is fundamentally about the dignity and mental health and wellbeing of all trans and gender diverse Victorian. We urge MPs to consider the research and facts and not play political games with people’s lives.”

OIP Staff