New laws will allow people to change their gender on official documents without undergoing medical procedures.
New laws will allow people to change their gender on official documents without undergoing medical procedures.

The state where you can change gender without surgery

Victorians will be allowed to change their gender on official documents without undergoing medical procedures from today.

New laws, which came into effect today, allow trans and gender diverse Victorians to alter the sex recorded on their birth certificate without having to undergo surgery.

Under the laws applicants must sign a statutory declaration stating they believe their sex is the one nominated in their application.

Applications must also be accompanied by a supporting statement from an adult who has known the applicant for at least 12 months.

Children will also be able to change their sex with the consent of a parent or guardian.

Changes will only be allowed once in any 12-month period.

Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Act 2019, which passed parliament last August, removed a discriminatory barrier for people who were forced to out themselves whenever a birth certificate was requested.

"For too long trans and gender diverse communities have been sent a painful and false message that there is something wrong with being trans or gender diverse that needs to be 'fixed'," she said.

"We've removed an unfair and unnecessary barrier - allowing trans and gender diverse Victorians to finally access a birth certificate that truly reflects who they are without having to undergo invasive and costly surgery."

Minister for Equality Martin Foley said the changes were a win for Victoria.

"Equality is not negotiable in Victoria and today, we're a step closer to achieving it for all LGBTIQ Victorians - this is about delivering a basic right which was long overdue."

The changes follow similar moves in the ACT, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages will have the power to refuse to register a descriptor that is obscene, offensive or if it is not reasonably established as a sex descriptor.

shannon.deery@news.com.az



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