Children Likely to be Allowed Change Sex
The government seems set to remove the restriction on children under 16 changing their gender after Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty presented a report to the Cabinet this week reviewing the 2015 Gender Recognition Act. The review report, written by Moninne Griffith, executive director of LGBT campaign group BeLonG To, advocates moving from the present legalistic system to an administrative process.
Under the existing legislation, children under the age of 16 are not allowed to change their legal sex, while teenagers aged 16-17 must go through a medical and psychiatric process before changing. The report recommends that all children under the age of 18 should be allowed to change their gender if they have consent from both parents. But if a parent does not give consent, a gender recognition application can still be made to the courts.
Minister Doherty asked the Cabinet to accept the report and to produce legislation to amend the Gender Recognition Bill in accordance with the report’s recommendations. She hopes to have that legislation introduced in the Oireachtas in the autumn.
The report also recommends that the state recognise those who identify as neither male nor female. Currently, those who identify as “non-binary” are required to declare as the gender assigned to them at birth. Minister Doherty is understood to have been lobbied by a number of groups seeking change in this area in recent weeks and is willing to examine the proposed changes.
A total of 297 people have been issued with gender recognition certificates since the law was enacted in 2015.
The Irish Times. July 18. Irish Independent. July 19.