Dublin TD Seán Crowe speaking today on the Report on the Scheme of the Gender Recognition Bill and said it was a useful starting point for discussion but that major changes need to be made in order to ensure equal rights for trans people in Ireland.
Deputy Crowe said:
“Sinn Féin has long recognised the need for a legal framework for transgender people to have their birth certificates amended to reflect their preferred gender identity. It is for this reason that we published a Gender Recognition Bill a year ago.
“Trans and intersex people do not live in a vacuum – they have families and friends and are part of our communities and schools and colleges and workplaces. They vote us in to represent them in this House. They are entitled to the same rights as everyone else in Ireland and should be treated with dignity and respect.
“But for as long as there remains no mechanism for trans and intersex people to get new birth certs in their gender the state remains in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“The age criteria must be addressed and we must ensure that no trans person is forced to divorce their partner in order to access legal recognition of their preferred gender.
“Trans people who are married or have families are entitled to the same protection as everyone else, and for a state that holds the institution of marriage in such high regard, it is a bizarre approach to effectively force divorce on people who may not want it. It violates people’s rights to equality.
“The Report on the Scheme of the Bill as a useful starting point.
“It is not for the Minister or I, or any other person to be the arbiter of a person’s gender identity. It is up to the person themselves and this should be fully respected and legally recognised by the State.”