Transgender people in Queensland will have the dignity of living their true lives, following a significant birth certificate reform passed by the State Parliament tonight.
The Queensland Government has removed an unnecessary and discriminatory barrier, which forced married trans people to divorce their spouse in order to change the gender marker on their birth certificate.
Brisbane’s Roz Dickson transitioned at age 47 and wanted to stay married to her wife Kathy. Roz and Kathy have been together for 28 years and have two children.
“I want to stay married, particularly for our children. When I transitioned to live as a woman I became happier in myself, a more fulfilled and content person to live with and a better parent to our young children. This law means I will finally be able to change my birth certificate to reflect who I am,” said Ms Dickson.
This change will ensure transgender people are not forced to choose between divorcing the person they love and having identification that doesn’t reflect who they are.
Queensland is the third state to introduce the amendment after marriage equality was realised last year. Trans and gender diverse advocates continue to advocate for similar changes in the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia, as well as removing other outdated and unfair barriers to accessing accurate birth certificates. South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and New South Wales have already reformed their birth certificate laws to remove this requirement.
Anna Brown, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, celebrated the laws which will finally allow marriage equality for transgender Queenslanders and their families.
“Our communities, families, doctors and schools already support marriage equality, and it’s time our laws did as well. This is a small but significant change that will allow transgender people to be free to be who they are, while maintaining their commitment to the person they fell in love with,” said Ms Brown.
The Queensland Government is currently reviewing laws which only allow people to change the gender on their birth certificate in very limited circumstances.
“Transgender people face problems every day accessing services and facilities most Australians use without thinking twice, because their identity documents do not match their gender. We need a complete overhaul of these outdated laws to ensure, for example, that trans people do not have to undergo invasive and unnecessary surgeries simply to be recognised as the gender they live as,” said Ms Brown
For interviews or further information, please contact:
Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519