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Transgender Law Change in Australia

A new law in Australia may permit transgender people to remain married and still retain the ability to have their sex-change recognized.

The current law in New South Wales requires transgender people to divorce their spouse if they want to ensure legal recognition of their new status, before a birth certificate can be issued that is updated and altered.

However two MPs intend to give notice

and NSW Greens spokeswoman Mehreen Faruqi will give notice to introduce the private member’s bill on Tuesday to change the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act so transgenders can have their gender changed on their birth certificates without them having to divorce their partners

 ”This bill allows loving and committed couples to stay together,” Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich said. ”As the debate with marriage equality continues, this is something that state governments can do to ensure trans people are protected. There are a number of members in our Parliament who are strong advocates for marriage and this is about keeping these marriages together.”
He said not having a person’s gender converted on a birth certificate can cause ”serious issues” with employment checks.

Transgender people say the bill will end the discrimination and embarrassment caused by them having to disclose publicly their former identities.

Elisabeth White, who began the transition from man to woman in 2010, says the current law puts her in the awkward and humiliating position of being forced to disclose her former gender when applying for a job.

”There’s a choice,” says the 45-year-old nurse who has been married to Lisa for 22 years. ”You either deal with discrimination or you divorce.”

Ms White, who grew up in an evangelical Christian home in Sydney but now lives in Melbourne with her wife and four children, does not want to divorce her partner who supported her during gender reassignment surgery in 2012.

Read more at SMH

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