Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 12 November 2009) . . Page.. 5017 ..
requirement to undergo sexual reassignment surgery but also to the consideration of issues affecting transgender people generally.
The Government recognises that ACT legislation defines a ‘transgender person’ through the operation of section 169A of the Legislation Act 2001 in addition to the Discrimination Act 1991 definition of a ‘transsexual person’ for the purposes of that Act.
There is a tension that arises with the two definitions sitting alongside one another in ACT legislation. The Government however acknowledges the current debate regarding the appropriate definition of the sex and gender diverse, and that a variety of terms are used in this discourse, and terminology has not yet been settled.
The Government would only consider abolishing the requirement in the Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1997, to undergo sexual reassignment surgery in order to register to record a change of sex, following a substantial review of that Act and an extensive consultation process. We would support a nationally consistent approach, or at least a nationally coordinated review, with a view to reforming this highly contentious area of the law. This Government would hope that any review would encompass consideration of law and procedure in other jurisdictions, both domestically and internationally, with a view to identifying the best model to pursue.
The Government considers that the current mechanism contained in the Births Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1997, whereby a person registers to record a change of sex, is sufficient at this point in time for the ACT, while recognising the difficulties that transgender people face on Territory, State and Commonwealth level when altering the nomination of their sex in a number of official documents.
Should this Government decide to conduct a review, it would consider the merits of introducing gender recognition certificates in assessing other jurisdictions’ requirements, and would support a nationally consistent, or coordinated, approach in choosing the most appropriate model.
Law reform—gender issues
(Question No 318)
Mr Rattenbury asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 17 September 2009:
(1) In relation to recommendations made by the public in submissions sought by the Government in the context of their 2003 discussion paper on the issue of sex and gender diversity, does the ACT have a consistent definition of the term transgender across all legislation.
(2) Is it appropriate or necessary to include the separate terms transgender and transexual across ACT legislation.
(3) Does the ACT Government have any plans to amend the Discrimination Act to provide protection from discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and expression, as opposed to current provisions which only protect a minority of people who meet the legislative definition of transgendered.