Intersex pondered as gender category
ACT birth certificates could soon recognise transgender and intersex people. As well, another category, ''indeterminate'', is also being considered.
The territory government is considering changes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act that would add to the traditional gender categories.
The changes have been recommended to the government by its Law Reform Advisory Council and will be considered by cabinet in the coming weeks.
In its report ''Beyond the Binary: Legal Recognition of Sex and Gender Diversity in the ACT'', the council also calls for an end to the requirement for sex-change surgery before a person can change their gender on a birth certificate.
''It is the view of the council that to give legal recognition to intersex people, the available categories for the registration of a person's sex should be any of female, male, intersex and indeterminate,'' the report reads.
''The category of intersex will ensure that if a decision was made to assign the sex 'female' or 'male' to an intersex child at or after their birth, and it later becomes apparent that the assigned sex does not align with the child's sex and gender identity, it is possible for the child, at a later stage of their life, to alter the record of their sex not only to male or female as the case may be, but also to intersex.
''The category of 'indeterminate' should be used only when it is not possible to determine the sex of a premature still-born child.''
The council was scathing of the present rules governing the alteration of birth certificates.
''The requirement that a person must undergo 'sexual
reassignment surgery' to apply to alter the record of their sex can rightly be said to be inhumane,'' the report's authors wrote.
''It violates a person's human rights to privacy and to bodily integrity, the right to freedom from torture, and the right to equal legal status unless they submit to invasive medical procedures.''
Attorney-General Simon Corbell confirmed the government was considering the changes but said he could not pre-empt cabinet decisions.
''We are anticipating amendments to the Births Deaths and Marriages Act as a result of the recommendations of the Law Reform Advisory Council's inquiry and report on the treatment of intersex and transgender persons,'' he said.
"That's consistent with what is now happening on a federal level in relation to passport arrangements in relation to transgender and intersex persons. I am confident that there will be an agreement to make changes … to more appropriately recognise the circumstances faced by people who are transgender or are considered to be intersex.
''I think it is time that we brought our legislation into line with other jurisdictions.''