Page 4390 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, that was totally uncalled for.
MR CORBELL: Only for you, Mr Hanson.
The bill also extends the time period for the registration of the birth of a child from 60 days to six months. This will reduce pressure on parents by allowing additional time for them to make complex decisions about the registered sex of their child.
The bill also makes minor technical amendments to existing laws to ensure the greatest possible interoperability with frameworks in other jurisdictions. This is important to maximise the extent to which sex-diverse people who come to reside in the ACT are recognised under our framework.
These amendments include declaring that interstate recognition certificates made under corresponding laws in other states and territories—I am sorry, Madam Deputy Speaker, I might ask my colleague Mr Barr to complete my speech, due to my failing voice.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is fine. Thank you, Mr Barr.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (11.08): These amendments include declaring that interstate recognition certificates made under corresponding laws in other states and territories are, for the purposes of territory law, evidence that a person mentioned in them is of the sex stated in the certificate. The definition of intersex has also been changed to mirror the best-practices definition in the commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act.
As part of this package of reforms, the government will also allow a new category to be recorded on birth certificates. This category can be nominated by individuals who are intersex or who identify as having an indeterminate or unspecified sex. As the BDMR Act does not prescribe the categories of sex that can be recorded on birth certificates, this reform will be achieved through administrative reforms, including possibly regulations.
Although the amendments contained in this bill will only affect a relatively small group in our society, to these people—and we strongly recognise this—the amendments in this bill will mean a great deal. These amendments will improve everyday interactions for those who have been greatly affected by outmoded restrictions on sex and gender recognition.
We must always remember that equality before the law means that the law must formally acknowledge people as human beings with legal rights. This recognition is not limited to the rights protected by the Human Rights Act. In order to realise this standard, government must not discriminate against people, or groups of people, in any field regulated by public authorities.