Gender recognition bill approved by Senators

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar

A bill to extend access to gender recognition for young transgender and non-binary people has been approved at the second stage in Seanad Éireann.

The Gender Recognition (Amendment) Bill 2017, introduced by Senator Fintan Warfield and co-signed by Senator David Norris and Senator Grace O’Sullivan, won the full support of the house.

The bill proposes to amend the Gender Recognition Act 2015 by:

  • allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to receive gender recognition on equal (informed consent) criteria to those over 18;
  • allowing under-16s to receive gender recognition with parental consent;
  • and allowing for non-binary persons to be specifically considered in the review of the Gender Recognition Act.
  • Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar, speaking in the Seanad on behalf of the Government, assured Senators of his commitment to the review process under section 7 of the 2015 Act.

    Mr Varadkar said: “The review will commence by September and officials of my Department are undertaking preparatory work. We expect the findings and conclusions of the review to be presented to the Oireachtas not later than September 2018.

    “I again confirm that the position of persons who are non-binary will be considered as part of the review, as will that of 16 and 17-year olds and younger children.”

    Sara Phillips, chair of the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), said: “We are delighted that the Minister has committed to include both non-binary and younger children in the review.

    “Legal recognition would greatly benefit young trans people by protecting their rights and supporting their well being and would go a long way to understanding the needs of non-binary people in Irish society today.”

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