Transgender Victorians from today will be able to stay married to the person they love when they change their birth certificate to reflect who they are.
The Andrews Government eliminated an anomaly in Victoria’s birth certificate laws that requires anyone wishing to change their gender to be unmarried. The change came into effect today.
Transgender Victoria's Chair Brenda Appleton said, "We welcome this important reform that will mean that trans and gender diverse Victorians will no longer have to make an impossible choice between staying married to the person they love and being legally recognised as their true gender."
From today, trans Victorians who are married (like my wife Penny!) won’t need to get divorced in order to affirm their gender on their birth certificate. 👏💚— Janet Rice (@janet_rice) October 11, 2018
This is great news! Congratulations to everyone who fought for this change to Victorian law. pic.twitter.com/IQtxtPVNUE
This move followed the passage of marriage equality late last year, and in line with a broader trend of governments moving to ensure transgender people can access identification that reflects who they are.
"This is great news. From today trans and gender diverse people will now be free to live as their true selves, while remaining committed to the person they fell in love with," said Anna Brown, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre.
"It wasn’t fair that some trans and gender diverse people were still waiting for full marriage equality. The community has shown their support for marriage equality, now all governments must reform our outdated birth certificate laws so trans and gender diverse people can live with dignity."
This change in Victoria comes after similar reforms were introduced in Queensland earlier this year, and follows South Australia and the ACT, which reformed their birth certificate laws before marriage equality was passed.
Victorian Senator Janet Rice is married to Penny, who was prevented from changing her birth certificate to reflect her female gender. Victorian Senator Janet Rice said, "I’m so pleased that the Victorian government has passed this legislation. Forcing trans people to divorce their partner before they can change their birth certificates was discriminatory."
"I urge other states to remove this discrimination so that we can have full marriage equality."
"For my wife Penny and me, this means Penny will be able to affirm her gender on her birth certificate and we can stay married for many years to come."
For interviews or further information please call:
Michelle Bennett, director of communication, 0419 100 519
Photo: Climate change expert Penny Whetton and her wife Senator Janet Rice