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SA law will make it easier to change registered gender

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A new law will enable South Australians to change their registered gender on their birth certificate without having to provide evidence they have undergone surgery or hormone treatment.

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Premier Jay Weatherill said the Births, Deaths and Marriages (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill introduced to State Parliament today would streamline the process for those wanting to change their registered gender, and was part of the Government’s “commitment to a more inclusive and tolerant South Australia”.

“Most South Australians will never need to think about the way their sex or gender identity is legally recognised,” he said.

“But, for some, the removal of these historical legal barriers will go a long way in ensuring their gender identities are respected, recognised, promoted and protected.”

The bill – which will replace the Sexual Reassignment Act 1988 – is one of a series the Premier plans to introduce based on the recommendations of the recent South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) review, which identified more than 140 pieces of legislation that discriminated on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Under the current Act, people wishing to change the registered gender on their birth certificate have to show proof of surgery and/or hormone treatment and make an application to a Magistrate. The changes will mean they need only a declaration from a medical professional confirming that they are receiving or have received “appropriate clinical treatment”, which might include counselling.

The Bill means new birth certificates will also show only the altered record of sex or gender identity, and not the fact that this has been changed.

The SALRI review found that impediments to changing birth certificates harmed the health and wellbeing of gender-diverse South Australians.

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