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Tasmania Now Allows Transgenders to Change Their Gender on Their Birth Certificate




  • Tasmania as Australia’s first jurisdiction to allow gender on birth certificates to become optional.
  • One needs to be 16 years old and above.
  • Gender reassignment surgery not needed.

Transgenders in Tasmania have a lot to celebrate about – they are now allowed to change the gender indicated on their birth certificates. They don’t have to go through surgery to do so.

The reforms were passed in parliament in April and predictably became controversial. It was opposed by the Liberal state government but passed the lower house.

This makes Tasmania as Australia’s first jurisdiction to allow gender on birth certificates to become optional.

Back when the law was still in the proposal stages, the main argument behind was the embarassment and discrimination experienced by transgender people whenever their birth certificate was requested, as they were forced to “out themselves”.

One needs to be 16 years old or older in order to apply for the change without needing the consent of his or her parents.
Transgenders and people who advocate gender diversity are planning to celebrate the historic passage of the law by bringing champagne and cupcakes at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Hobart.

Religious groups were expectedly against the reform. The Australian Christian Lobby considered the removal of gender on birth certificates as a move ignoring biological truths.

The new gender laws in Tasmania have the following conditions:

  • The registrar will still indicate the sex of a person as either male or female. The parents will choose which gender to put in their child’s birth certificate.
  • A person 16 years and older has the prerogative to change his or her gender by making a declaration.
  • Sexual reassignment surgery is not required for a person to make the change.
  • For those under 18 years old, they need to go undergo counseling that supports their decision.
  • Using documents from one’s former identity to “deceive” is strictly prohibited.
  • A person who is not legally female can terminate pregnancies
  • If a person has to undergo a strip search, he or she can choose a male or female personnel to carry out the search.

Most of the states and territories of Australia already allow birth certificates that indicate gender as something other than male or female.

The ACT, NSW, South Australia, and the Northern Territory provide different gender-neutral options that can be put on a person’s birth certificate. These include intersex, indeterminate, non-binary, other, and unknown.

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