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Ó Snodaigh demands government act now on Dr. Lydia Foy ruling

20 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Dublin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has welcomed the court’s ruling that Dr. Lydia Foy’s privacy has been breached by the lack of legislation allowing her to change her gender on her birth certificate. He has also demanded that the government act immediately to amend legislation allowing transgendered people have documentation such as passports issued in their current gender.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Dr. Foy is a remarkable woman who has achieved a tremendous victory for equality, particularly for transgender people. Government must immediately act to amend legislation that will protect transgendered people’s privacy and allow them have documentation issued in their current gender.

“In 2002 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the against the UK court’s refusal to allow a British transsexual to amend her birth certificate on the grounds that this violated her rights as guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

“Following this judgment Britain introduced the Gender Recognition Act 2004 providing transsexual people with legal recognition of their acquired gender and a mechanism by which they could obtain amended birth certificates.

“Yet here in Ireland in the same year the High Court found against Dr. Foy in her efforts to have her gender changed on her birth certificate but urged the government to address the registration of people who have undergone gender reassignment due to Gender Identity Disorder.

“Despite this direction given by the courts government failed to act in the interim leaving Dr. Foy with no option but to continue her struggle via the courts, again. The Judge presiding over yesterday’s case also ruled that an order stating Dr Foy's privacy has been breached must be placed before the Houses of the Oireachtas within 21 days of the wording of that statement being completed.

“No time should be wasted once this order reaches the Oireachtas. Just this week during the Passports Bill debate in the Dáil chamber I noted a positive of the Bill was that it allowed transgendered persons change their gender on their passports.

“Equality is a cornerstone of all Sinn Féin policy. I urge all Oireachtas members to support the amending of legislation that will rectify this wrong that for too long has been ignored by this government.” CRÍOCH


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