Victoria wants to allow trans and intersex people to change their sex in their birth certificates. 📷 CREDIT: EDDIE JIM
Transgender Victorians look likely to be allowed to change the sex recorded on their birth certificates, with key crossbenchers declaring their support for amendments to the law.
Three crossbench MPs have now confirmed they will back the change, handing the Andrews government the numbers it needs to pass the bill in the State Parliament’s upper house.
The bill is set to be debated when Parliament returns from the winter break next week.
On Thursday, shadow attorney-general Edward O’Donohue said the opposition would vote against the amendment even though it supported the rights of individuals to “live their lives according to their identified gender”.
“However, birth certificates are intended to record biological sex rather than gender identity,” he said.
The state government has a majority in the lower house but needs at least three crossbench upper house MPs to pass legislation without the opposition’s support.
It wants to scrap the “cruel and unfair laws” and allow transgender people to put whatever sex they choose on their birth certificates.
Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick, who has a transgender child, said he was hopeful the changes would pass through parliament comfortably.
“The broader community would be supportive of this,” he said. “But in typical fashion they might not be so vocal about it.”
Mr Meddick said allowing trans people to self-nominate the sex on their birth certificates would give them greater confidence in the community.
He expected that controversy surrounding the change would soon dissipate if the amendment passed through parliament.
Fellow crossbenchers Fiona Patten of the Reason Party and Samantha Ratnam from the Greens have also confirmed they will vote with the government to pass the bill.
The proposed changes to the law will bring Victoria into line with Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT.
Equality Minister Martin Foley said the government had taken the policy to the election and was widely supported by the LGBTIQ community.
Mr Foley, who is also the Minister for Mental Health, said the policy also had the backing of mental health practitioners.