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Gender Equality Bill must be amended - Adams

17 February, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has welcomed the Taoiseach’s commitment in the Dáil today that the Gender Recognition Bill will be passed into law before the next general election.

However, the Sinn Féin leader was critical of the Bill in its current form. He described the government’s Gender Recognition Bill as “insulting and objectionable and it requires serious amending to take account of the rights of transgender citizens and international best practise”.

Gerry Adams said:

“The purpose of the Gender Recognition Bill is to provide for state recognition of the preferred gender of transgender people.

“Along with colleagues I attended the rally outside the Dáil on Saturday organised by LGBT Noise and TENI and by citizens deeply concerned with key aspects of this Bill.

“It is out of line with international best practice; at odds with our human rights commitments; is based on outdated legislation from other states, and is disrespectful to, and breaches the human rights of transgender persons.

“There are many concerns about the Bill, including the fact that it introduces an unnecessary and potentially dangerous medicalisation of the process and creates an onerous regime for recognition for young people aged between 16 and 18.

“In light of the government’s same sex marriage referendum in May the clause within the Bill that requires a married transgender person to divorce as a pre-condition for recognition, is not only insulting but at odds with the marriage equality referendum and proposed change to the constitution.

“If the fundamental test of any piece of legislation is how well it upholds the rights of citizens then this proposed new law fails. It will require significant amendment in the Dáil.”

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