Amnesty International and LGBT activists in Ireland are disappointed in the current draft of a new bill that recognizes transgender identities, but requires them to jump through several bureaucratic hoops just to do so reports Pink News. If passed, the bill will legally recognize transgender identities in dealings with the State, public bodies, civil and commercial society. AI and LGBT activists are grateful that the Irish government is attempting to validate transgender identities however, the process to do so is rather harmful.
The bill forces married transgender people to divorce in order to gain gender recognition, in accordance with the country’s ban on same-sex marriage. Additionally while the bill allows for 16 and 17-year-olds to obtain legal gender recognition, they require a court order and parental consent to do so, which campaigners warn could cause further harm. Denis Krivosheev of AI believes the bill needs heavy revision.
"This bill will require substantial changes if it is to tackle the serious issue of discrimination against transgender people. Rather than making it as easy as possible for all transgender people to obtain legal recognition of their identity, there are several groups that will be short-changed by the bill – in particular those who are married or in civil partnerships, minors, and those who do not wish to undergo medical treatment.
"The bill completely overlooks the needs of those who may wish to remain married, or who are going through divorce proceedings, while obtaining legal recognition of their gender. This is a violation of their human rights.
"Instead, the bill cruelly forces transgender people to separate from their loved one – and then spend years in limbo without either a partner or the legal recognition of their identity."
Meanwhile, the Irish government has announced that a referendum on same-sex marriage will take place next May.