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Gender Recognition Bill fails to protect young people – McLellan

5 March, 2015

Speaking today in the Dáil during the Gender Recognition Bill, Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson on Children’s Affairs Sandra McLellan said that the bill is seriously lacking in the protection of young people’s rights.

Teachta McLellan said:

“My main issue with the Bill as Children’s Affairs Spokesperson for my party is the process of recognition for young people aged 16 and 17, and the exclusion of under-16s from the Bill as a whole.”

“It is widely felt by transgender organisations that the process as outlined to obtain the certificate is too arduous and unfair on young people.”

“It’s also been noted that there is serious failure in the Bill to provide security for trans young people transitioning within education. This will only make it more complicated and difficult for trans young people to transition to their preferred gender and progress through their educational and personal development.”

“Another aspect that we in Sinn Féin find seriously concerning and unacceptable is the criterion that you must be single in order to apply for recognition. The concept that a requirement be that a person must divorce their spouse first is outlandish and outdated. It’s quite possibly unconstitutional.”

“We are also of the view that all reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that the dignity and privacy of applicants for legal gender recognition be preserved and that confidentiality is preserved in all cases”

“It is the Governments responsibility to reach out and listen to the Transgender community so that their concerns and views are heard and incorporated into its development. The Gender Recognition Bill, if it is to achieve what it intends to, must be inclusive, and must be relevant to the needs of the people it seeks to address.” 

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