Spain approves law that allows children over 16 years of age to change their legally registered gender without medical supervision
legislators in spain have passed a bill that allows people over the age of 16 to change their legally registered gender without medical supervision or parental supervision.
The measure, strongly backed by Spain’s left-wing Podemos party, passed the lower house of parliament on Thursday by a vote of 188 to 150 and means anyone over the age of 16 can legally change their registered gender without consulting a medical. , which was previously required.
Additionally, minors between 12 and 13 years of age may change their legally registered gender with the authorization of a judge, and persons between 14 and 16 years of age must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians to make the change of gender identity card.
Until now, Spaniards who identified as transgender needed a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from various doctors, which is the psychological condition of not feeling a coincidence between oneself biological sex and gender identity. In some cases, they also needed proof that they had lived for two years with the gender they identified as, or even records showing that they had taken hormones.
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The legislation not only received fierce opposition from conservatives in the Spanish government, but also caused a rift between the left-wing factions of the feminist movement in Spain, reported the BBC.
Equality Minister Irene Montero, a member of the Podemos party, said the law “depathologizes” people who identify as transgender.
“Trans women are women,” Montero said.
Meanwhile, some members of the coalition government within President Pedro Sánchez’s socialist party have opposed the move, fearing it would erode women’s rights.
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“When gender is affirmed over biological sex, it doesn’t seem to me to be a step forward in a progressive direction; it seems to be a step back,” said Carmen Calvo, former vice president of the Sánchez government. “The State has to give answers to transgender people, but gender is not voluntary or optional.”
The bill will become law once it is approved by the Senate, which is expected by the end of the year.
Also on Thursday, the scottish parliament passed a bill to make it easier for people to change their legally recognized gender. The approval makes Scotland the first part of the UK to back allowing people to declare their gender on documents without the need for a medical certificate.
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The bill was introduced by the Scottish National Party-led government and allows people to transition by self-declaration, removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
The new rules require anyone applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate to have lived full-time in their declared identity for three months, six months if they are between the ages of 16 and 17, instead of the previous period of two years. The bill lowered the minimum age of eligibility from 18 to 16 years.
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The revised law also establishes a “cooling-off period” of three months, during which applicants can change their minds. The Scottish government has not yet decided when in 2023 it wants the new process to come into force.
Associated Press contributed to this report.