As a Greens MP, the recognition and equal treatment of people with diverse genders and sexualities is important to me. In Parliament in 2018 I proudly voted to abolish “forced divorce”, where married trans people could not change their legal gender without getting divorced. In my speech at the time, I urged the Government to do more to recognise LGBT+ people.
In terms of some basic recognitions for trans and gender diverse people, Queensland is the lowest ranking state. The petition calls for reforms to:
- Remove the requirement for surgery before changing the gender marker on their birth certificate, given surgery is costly and not always the right choice for everybody.
- Remove the “annotation” when the gender marker is changed, which outs people.
- Recognise people of genders other than male or female, either by making the gender marker optional or including a wider range of options.
- Provide Recognised Details Certificates, which support people who have transitioned but aren’t Queensland-born.
- Recognise same-sex and non-binary parents by giving more options for the terminology to register parents on a Birth Certificate.
- Reconsider the limit of one name change per year, at least when it comes to people undergoing gender transition.
- Reduce or removing the prohibitive costs of changing one’s gender marker and name with the Registry.
The petition received a huge amount of community support, and was tabled with 10,838 signatures - one of the most-signed e-petitions on the Queensland Parliament website. Encouragingly, the Attorney-General indicated the Government is reviewing the Act and, in her response to the petition, the Attorney-General promised Labor would introduce a Bill before the end of 2021.
While there’s a lot more work to do to improve the safety and livelihoods of LGBT+ people as a whole, taking some progressive steps in this direction could make a real difference, so I’ll be fighting for the reforms this year to fully incorporate the requests in Esther’s petition.