Update gender legislation for Victorian Birth Certificates

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In 2016 the Victorian State Government voted on whether to remove the requirement of having genital surgery for Victorians to be able to change the sex marker on their birth certificates. It's legislation that affects few to no people beyond transgender individuals. The motion was supported by Labor, Reason and the Greens but voted down by the LNP and other crossbenchers.

The raw fact of the matter is that this legislation would not negatively affect any people at all, despite conservative fear-mongering that it will somehow endanger our society. Trans people are not assaulting people in bathrooms or changerooms, nobody is claiming to be transgender to get into gendered spaces and commit crimes. Nobody who wants to commit a crime is going to care about their ability to legally enter a space.

Even ignoring arguments about bathrooms and sports teams, birth certificates are not checked in relation to which change-rooms or bathrooms people do or do not use; they are not checked when administering medical care; they are not checked when someone signs up to a sports team. There is not a single conceivable, concrete way that this could realistically negatively affect people.

Meanwhile it would help all transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, and intersex Victorians who want their documentation changed. It helps us prove our identity to official institutions that refuse to change our markers or titles (even when they should not on paper be reliant on birth certificates). It would make us safer in public, when traveling to or through countries with more discriminatory policies, and it would in general improve the quality of life and well-being of a group of people with rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm that should horrify any compassionate person.

With the 2018 Victorian State Elections, Labor have a clear majority in the Legislative Assembly and Labor + Greens + Reason have a majority in the Legislative Council. If the vote was held today it would pass.

We, the people signing this, request that a bill be brought forward to either:

A) Completely remove sex and gender from birth certificates, given that it has no clerical relevance to modern society, or:

B) Rule that changing the sex marker on birth certificates be made not contingent on surgical or medical intervention and at the very most requiring only a note from a medical practitioner that the person identifies as their professed gender, that one or more nonbinary options are added, and that the fee be waived for concession card holders.

Transgender people are valid. This is consensus among everyone actually educated on the topic. Our laws should reflect this, and we have the opportunity to, at least in one small way, change them so they do.


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