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Courtney Allan

The first Australian state to make gender optional on birth certificates

The first Australian state to make gender optional on birth certificates

Tasmania has made history and become the first Australian jurisdiction to make gender optional on birth certificates.

The controversial reforms were passed after the casting vote of Liberal Speaker Sue Hickey, who crossed the floor.

“This is not a win for any political party, rather it grants dignity to the transgender community,” Ms Hickey said.

The laws remove the requirement for transgender people to have sexual reassignment surgery in order to have a new gender recognised.

The state government initially opposed the bill when it was first put forward by Labor and the Greens in 2018, saying that it would have unintended consequences.

Premier Will Hodgman said in a statement:

“This legislation has ignored the views of Tasmanians and eminent legal stakeholders who have raised concerns and pointed out that there has been no opportunity to undertake a full review of what is being proposed and how it impacts on other statutes,” he said.

“It is highly likely the parliament will need to fix up problems with the legislation.”

The Australian Christian Lobby said that the removal of gender on birth certificates was ignoring biological truths and Prime Minister Scott Morrison last year labelled the push to remove gender from birth certificates as “ridiculous”.