New Zealand passes law making it easier to change sex on birth certificates

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12/09/2021

New Zealand’s rainbow community will be allowed to change the sex recorded on their birth certificates without providing evidence of a medical procedure, after a bill to recognise the right for gender minorities to self-identify passed into law. “Today is a proud day in Aotearoa’s history,” internal affairs minister Jan Tinetti said. “Parliament has voted in favour of inclusivity and against discrimination.” While self-identification on birth certificates was introduced in 2018, applicants had been required to prove they had undergone medical treatment to align their sex and gender identity. The births, deaths marriages and relationship registration bill, which passed unanimously on Thursday, removes that requirement. “This law change will make a real difference for transgender, non-binary, takatāpui [LGBT] and intersex New Zealanders,” Tinetti said. She added that the law will support young people and give them “agency over their identity, which will promote their mental health and sense of wellbeing”. The country joins roughly 15 overseas jurisdictions that have made changing one’s sex on documents simpler, including several Latin American countries, and European countries such as Denmark and Spain.

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