13 March 2014
Alex Greenwich MP Independent Member for Sydney will introduce a bill in NSW Parliament to allow married persons who have undergone sex affirmation to update their records on the Births, Deaths and Marriages register to correctly reflect their sex without having to get a divorce
Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC of The Greens and Alex Greenwich MP Independent Member for Sydney will introduce a bill in NSW Parliament to allow married persons who have undergone sex affirmation to update their records on the Births, Deaths and Marriages register to correctly reflect their sex without having to get a divorce.
The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1995 currently does not permit a married person to alter the record of their sex or to register a change of sex. This forces a married person who has undergone sex affirmation to choose between divorcing his or her spouse and having an inaccurate birth certificate.
Having the incorrect sex on a birth certificate has negative consequences including in the workplace and accessing services and benefits while contributing to feelings of isolation and social rejection among a minority group with alarmingly high attempted suicide rates.
The bill does not legalise same-sex marriage. Federal law continues to restrict marriage solemnisation to a man and a woman.
People who are married can and do change their sex and State records should correctly reflect the sex of all New South Wales citizens.
Dr Mehreen Faruqi said:
“These offensive provisions have remained in our law for far too long, and for no good reason.
“No loving couple should be forced to choose between divorce and a birth certificate that displays an incorrect sex of one partner. Unfortunately, that’s what currently happens in NSW.
“The Greens believe in full equality for all Australians, and will continue to stand with the LGBTI community on making this a reality.
“This Mardi Gras season, let’s remember the most marginalised in our LGBTI community, for whom every day is a struggle, and for whom even the most basic rights, such as the continuation of a committed and loving marriage, are complicated by damaging and discriminatory laws.”
Mr Greenwich said:
“This constitutionally valid bill is about love and keeping couples together under the law.”
“I know many NSW MPs believe in the importance of marriage, and I hope their respect for the institution extends to protecting these loving marriages.”
Forced divorce exists in other Australian states and territories and Dr Faruqi and Mr Greenwich will call on their counterparts across the country to introduce similar bills.