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News & Events

09 MAY 2014

Press Release: Historic Moment for Trans Rights

Today, 9th May, marks a historic moment for Trans* Rights in Ireland as the report on the Gender Recognition Scheme will be debated in the Dáil at 12pm.

This marks the very first time that gender recognition legislation will be discussed in Dáil Eireann.

Speaking today, TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone said:

"I am hopeful that this discussion will be robust and fruitful and may well result in tangible changes in the legislation that will benefit the transgender community. This is a very important moment in the history of trans rights in Ireland, and it is something to be celebrated. Now is the time to make the real changes. Changes which will have a full and affirming effect on the lives of trans people and their families in Ireland."

The debate can be followed live online here.

You can also read the report from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Social Protection here

Background to the debate:

On 17 July 2013, Minister Joan Burton launched the Draft Heads for the Gender Recognition Bill 2013.  This legislation has been developed as a result of the previous government being declared in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights in failing to recognise Dr Foy in her female gender and provide her with a new birth certificate.

The failure to introduce Recognition has left transgender and intersex persons without formal legal status and has significantly impacted upon their ability to access basic services such as social security benefits, education and transport. 

In October 2013, the Committee on Education and Social Protection held two-days of hearings to review the General Scheme of Gender Recognition Bill 2013. 

In January 2014, the Committee published the report of its findings and made key recommendations for improving the legislation.

TENI warmly welcomed the report as it represented significant progress and an opportunity to ensure that the legislation that is introduced is robust and human rights compliant. 

TENI urges the Government to adopt the recommendations made in the Committee’s report.

Useful Information:

In preparation for this historic debate we have compiled a paper outlining the main issues facing our community in relation to the legislation.

You can read TENI's analysis of the Gender Recognition Scheme here.

You can read the Executive Summary here.

The Recommendations of the Committee:

The recommendations of the Committee in relation to the General Scheme of Gender Recognition Bill 2013 are as follows: 
 
Terminology (Para 5.1 of the Report) 
Having regard to practices in other jurisdictions as well as to legislative constraints, consideration should be given to whether the term ―preferred gender‖ should replace the term ―acquired gender‖ in the Bill. 
 
Age Criterion (Para 5.2) 
The age at which a person is entitled to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate should be reduced from 18 years to 16 years. Measures should also be put-in-place to address the day-to-day concerns of transgender people under the age of 16 years. 
 
Single Criterion (Para 5.3) 
The Committee acknowledges that there is a difference of opinion between the Attorney General and others on the legal issues regarding gender recognition for persons who are married or in a civil partnership. However, the Committee believes that the fact that a person is in an existing marriage or a civil partnership should not prevent him or her from qualifying for a Gender Recognition Certificate, and urges the Minister to revisit this issue. 
 
Evidence of Transition (Para 5.4) 
The Committee recommends that the current wording in the Bill with respect toevidence of transition should be reconsidered to address the concerns raised at the hearings that people not be stigmatised as a result of the requirements in this regard. 
 
Guidelines for Schools (Para 5.5) 
Guidelines on supporting the inclusion of transgender young people in schools should be developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Participation in Sport (Para 5.6) 
The provisions in Head 26 should be reconsidered in consultation with stakeholders. Irish sporting regulatory bodies receiving public funding should develop comprehensive policies in relation to the participation of transgender people. 
 
Equality Acts (Para 5.7) 
Consideration should be given to amending Equality legislation to add ―gender identity to the existing nine grounds under which discrimination is illegal

For more information:

Please contact TENI at:

Email: office@teni.ie
Phone: (01) 873 3575

About TENI:

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) seeks to improve conditions and advance the rights and equality of trans people and their families. 
www.teni.ie

 

Shortcut http://www.teni.ie/press_release_historic_moment_for_trans_rights

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