Transgender rights law could allow sex change without medical report

Transgender rights law could allow sex change without medical report

Minister for Equality, Irene Montero CREDIT: La Moncloa

THE law for the rights of transgender people being drafted by the Ministry of Equality, foresees allowing sex changes on the official register from the age of 16 with no medical report or treatment.

It can be done between the ages of 12 and 16 with the consent of parents or guardians.

This is the main point of the proposed law, and means that people can freely manifest their gender identity, without needing to provide a medical or psychological diagnosis or undergo treatment. The person’s statement will be sufficient to change their details on the register.

The aim is for transsexuals to no longer be looked on as having an illness, following the guidelines of the World Health Organisation, and to guarantee the protection and specific rights to any person “whose gender identity does not correspond to the sex assigned at birth”.

It will regulate measures regarding health, education, work and sports and also opens the door to requesting that gender not be specified on official identity documents, to accommodate those who do not identify with either gender.

The Ministry for Equality wants to start the legislative process of this draft law in the first half of February, which is why Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, and the First Vice President, Carmen Calvo, met last week.

The Ministries which will take part in writing up the law will mainly be Justice and Health. It does not yet meet with the approval with all political groups and will have to follow the usual procedures to be approved.

Other points include the following:

– The sex change on the register will not affect any lawsuits initiated prior to the modification.

– Changing gender on the register does not making a name change mandatory, while minors will also be allowed to change their name without changing their gender on the register.

– Foreigners in Spain, regardless of their administrative situation, will be allowed to freely manifest their gender.

– Specific healthcare is guaranteed for transgender people and they cannot be forced to undergo treatment. The National Health System will offer hormonal treatment, voice therapy, genital surgeries, mammoplasties, mastectomies and prosthetic material and transgender people with the ability to carry a child will be able to opt for assisted reproduction techniques.

– Students have the right to express their gender identity, so their physical image, choice of clothing and the access to facilities at school in accordance with their gender identity must be respected.

– Transgender people will be able to participate in sports according to their registered sex and gender verification tests may not be carried out, “without prejudice to timely compliance with the rules governing international competitions.”

– Incentives are established for hiring unemployed transgender people who have special difficulties entering the labour market.

– Transgender prisoners will have the right to be treated according to their registered sex, although they may request to be separated from that group if they fear that their safety or privacy will be put at risk.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.