New laws removing barriers to gender recognition welcomed in ACT

21 March 2024 - LGBTIQ+ groups have welcomed new laws that remove cruel and unnecessary barriers to gender recognition in the ACT. 

The reforms passed 12 votes to 5 in ACT Parliament on Tuesday including amendments from Greens MP Laura Nuttall which were accepted by the ACT Government. 

Under the new laws there will be a greater choice of gender descriptors on birth certificates and people will no longer be required to obtain clinical treatment from a doctor or psychologist to update their gender marker. 

The application age has also been lowered to make it easier for young trans and gender diverse people to be recognised for who they are. 

“These reforms have the potential to enhance the wellbeing of many members of the trans, gender diverse and intersex communities in the ACT, and will go a long way to supporting our young people as they negotiate a number of different systems that hinge on the way their legal registration documents have been recorded,” said Vik Fraser, Executive Director of A Gender Agenda.  

“Enabling legal affirmation of a person’s identity in this way is protective of our community and removes an unnecessary burden from individuals and families. We look forward to similar reforms taking place in other jurisdictions so that our whole community can benefit.” 

Ymania Brown, a transwoman and spokesperson for Equality Australia, said the changes mean trans and gender diverse people won’t have to struggle with mismatching documents when applying for schools or accessing health care. 

“These reforms will ensure their lived reality matches their legal identity,” she said. 

“It gives them the respect and dignity that comes with being recognised as their true selves and matches the direction of other state such as Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria in giving people greater autonomy over their ID.” 

Media Contact: Tara Ravens 0408 898 154, tara.ravens@equalityaustralia.org.au