Ireland’s revolutionary new transgender law won’t require you to see a doctor

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Ireland has overhauled its draft gender recognition law – to allow transgender people to gain legal recognition without seeing a doctor or getting medical treatment.

A step forward has been made for trans people in Ireland, as soon those wishing to change their gender on their birth certificate will be able to do so without medical evidence.

The announcement was made yesterday by the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton and was welcomed by Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI).

It means that the application process under the Gender Recognition Bill will change for those aged 18 or older – though young trans people will still remain blocked from legal recognition.

The application process will be based on a person’s self-declaration, through a statutory declaration without an required medical evidence.

It will also remove a ‘forced divorce’ clause that requires couples who are married or in a civil partnership to divorce if one of them transitions.

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting, the Tánaiste said: “Throughout the drafting of this Bill, I have listened carefully to the views of individual citizens, representative groups and public representatives. It is essential that this important legislation is in line with international best practice.

“That is why we are moving to a self-declaration model for people aged 18 and over. This approach will have no impact on the treatment pathway which is completely separate from the civil registration process.”

“TENI applauds the Government for this hugely significant move. Ireland has now taken its place as an international leader in this human rights area,” said TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone.

“The Government has shown great vision and conviction in ensuring the rights of trans people. This legislation will significantly improve the lived realities of trans people in Ireland.”

These changes will be made as Committee stage amendments in the Dáil from 17 June.