Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Hon John Quigley LLB JP MLA

Attorney General; Minister for Commerce

    Government moves to fix legal anomaly for intersex couples

    15/08/2018 1:30 PM
     
    • Gender Reassignment Amendment Bill 2018 (WA) introduced into State Parliament
    • Legislation will abolish a legal anomaly requiring people to be single if they want to formally change their gender identity 

    Legislation seeking to remove the requirement of a person to be single in order to be eligible for a gender recognition certificate, which is required to alter the record of their sex on their birth certificate, was today introduced into State Parliament.

     

    The McGowan Government will repeal section 15(3) of the Gender Reassignment Act 2000 (WA) so that a married person is no longer forced to choose between a birth certificate that reflects their reassigned gender, and the maintenance of the legal relationship with their spouse.

     

    The provision was originally intended to prevent an inconsistency from arising whereby two people of the same sex become married, which was not permitted under the Commonwealth Marriage Act prior to the commencement of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 (Cth).

     

    The Gender Reassignment Amendment Bill 2018 (WA) fixes an obvious anomaly in the existing law, which is technical in nature, and ensures consistency with national same sex marriage laws.

     

    It also aims to facilitate and empower people to re-assign to their correct gender with as much ease and dignity as possible.

     

    The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia is currently reviewing other aspects of WA's gender reassignment laws, as they relate to the recognition of a person's sex, change of sex or intersex status.

     

    The Commission is expected to release its discussion paper for public comment in coming weeks.

     

    Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:

     

    "The introduction of this legislation is yet another example of the McGowan Government's commitment to addressing issues of discrimination and inequality in the LGBTIQ community.

     

    "The existing law forces a married person to choose between a birth certificate that reflects their reassigned gender, and the maintenance of the legal relationship with their spouse, even when that relationship is ongoing.

     

    "Such a choice can have financial and emotional consequences for both people involved.

     

    "The Government's aim is to ensure the gender reassignment process is as streamlined, efficient and expedient as possible with a minimum of bureaucracy, expense and unnecessary complication.

     

    "Last year, the State Government introduced the Historical Homosexual Convictions Expungement Bill 2017 (WA), demonstrating our commitment to addressing issues of discrimination against the LGBTIQ community and ensuring fairness and equality for all Western Australians."

     

    Attorney General's office - 6552 6800