16 October 2014
Alex Greenwich, Independent Member for Sydney, says today is an historic day for LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex) law reform in NSW.
Legislation to remove prior homosexual offence convictions will be debated and hopefully pass through the NSW Legislative Assembly, and legislation to end the requirement for couples to divorce following gender transition will be introduced in both the Legalisation Assembly and Legislative Council.
The Criminal Record Amendment (Historic Homosexual Offences) Bill was introduced by member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith and has strong support across the Parliament, and the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment (Change of Sex) Bill will be introduced by Mr Greenwich in the Legislative Assembly and by Mehreen Faruqi in the Legislative Council.
In relation to the past homosexual offences bill, Mr Greenwich said:
“What better way to mark the 30th anniversary of decriminalisation than passing legislation that says the gay community should have never have been criminalised in the first place?”
“For 30 years many men have had the unfair burden of criminal convictions for being who they are and loving who they love. This bill rights that historic wrong” .
In relation the Marriages Registration Amendment (Change of Sex) Bill, Mr Greenwich said:
“We should not force a couple in a loving and supportive relationship to choose between divorce and an accurate birth certificate. This is heartless and unnecessary.”
“In addition to ending forced transgender divorce, we need wider trans law reform that respects the different journeys that people transitioning gender go through. The law unfairly limits those who can gain new birth certificates to those who have had surgery. This fails to recognise the variety of transitions that occur without surgery and I will work with the trans community and my colleagues to fix this.”
Mr Greenwich said the way the NSW parliament deals with LGBTI law reform shows what can happen when MPs work together:
“NSW Parliament is at its best when we work together toward meaningful outcomes for the community, and today proves that can be done.”