The Spanish Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, on Wednesday, introduced a bill for LGBTQ community, named, the Gender Identity Bill.
The bill will allow citizens to change their gender easily after amendments in Spain’s current legislation.
According to the new bill, a person aged 16 or above will be able to change his or her gender and name directly with the civil registry by giving a sworn statement.
As per the current legislation, a person had to undergo physical and psychological checks and years of hormone therapy before they could go for a gender change.
The Gender Identity Bill also recognizes the people who identify as neither male nor female, called non-binary people. The bill proposes removing the gender field on official documents that will streamline the active inclusion of the LGBTQ community in affairs involving documentation.
The bill is a part of the political agreement signed between Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos. Unidas Podemos a left-wing electoral alliance formed by Podemos, United Left and other left-wing parties.
“The Equality Ministry, led by Irene Montero of Unidas Podemos, met with more than 20 different LGBTQ+ and trans collectives. The meeting was held to finalize the future law based on an initiative Unidas Podemos presented in 2017. Sources close to Montero say they expect to bring the bill to the Spanish Cabinet in the first half of February”, reported EL PAIS.
Reaction to the Bill:
The LGBTQ community has hailed the bill. It is being considered a landmark for removing gender discrimination and grant of equal rights. It has also received some severe criticism.
The bill has already sparked a debate after strong opposition from the Catholic Church and feminist groups.
“Factions of the Catholic Church and the far-right have focused their opposition to the bill on the fact that it also would allow children under 16 to bypass parental objections and seek a judge’s assistance in accessing treatment for gender dysphoria, the medical term for the psychological distress that results from a conflict between an individual’s identity and birth-assigned sex”, reported nwaonline.com
Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo, a veteran Socialist and women’s rights advocate, said: “I am fundamentally worried by the idea that if gender can be chosen with no more than one’s will or desire, that could put at risk the identity criteria for 47 million Spaniards.”