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Spain Parliament Approves Reforms To Gender Self Identification

The Spanish lower house of parliament recently approved reforms to gender self-identification that would make Spain one of the few countries to enable transgender persons to alter their status with a simple statement, rather than requiring medical supervision.

Alexander McCaslin
Dec 30, 20221 Shares128 Views
The Spanish lower house of parliament recently approved reforms to gender self-identificationthat would make Spain one of the few countries to enable transgender persons to alter their status with a simple statement, rather than requiring medical supervision.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted 188 to 150 in favor of the measure, sending it to the Senate. If nothing changes, it will likely become law in the next weeks.
A judge's approval is required for individuals between the ages of 12 and 13, and parents or legal guardians must accompany minors between the ages of 14 and 16.
This is in accordance with the new legislation enacted by the Centre-left coalition administration. Those above the age of 16 may alter their gender on government records without the need for a doctor's approval.

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What Is Spain's New Gender Identity Bill?

The final tally in parliament was 188 in support of the new legislation and 150 against. Seven legislators didn't show up to the polls today.
This law streamlines the procedure for changing one's gender designation on their national ID card, making it possible to do so with only a self-declaration. Applicants have three months from the time they make their request until their request is considered legitimate.
To legally transition from one gender to another, people in Spain formerly needed a doctor's note confirming gender dysphoria and two years of hormone therapy.
Before this, minors required court authority to make the switch. The new law simply requires parental consent from minors aged 14 and 15.
In addition to outlining government initiatives for trans inclusion in the workforce, education, and housing, the bill also outlaws conversion therapy. It would ensure access to assisted reproduction and allow for the acknowledgment of parenthood for the offspring of unmarried lesbian and bisexual couples.
Podemos, a left-leaning junior coalition partner, has been in charge of the country's equality ministry and has been a strong advocate for the law.

History Of The Transgender Rights In Spain

Gender dysphoria, the mental state of not feeling a match between one's biological sex and gender identity, used to be required from many physicians for a transgender adult to legally transition.
In other situations, people also required documentation demonstrating they had taken hormones or had been living as the gender they identified with for at least two years. Also, minors required parental consent or a court order.
The measure, if approved, would also create penalties and sanctions for assaults on LGBTQ individuals and propose a ban on so-called conversion treatments to repress sexual orientation or gender identity.
It would also remove the prohibition on children of lesbian couples being registered in the names of both parents.
Advocates for transgender people believe this bill marks a watershed moment in the historyof LGBTQ rights. However, some feminist activists see gender self-determination as a danger since it muddies the idea of biological sex.
The first European nation to legalize gender transition was Denmark in 2014. Over a dozen additional nations have passed laws along these lines. On Thursday, Scotland made history by approving the first self-identification system for trans people in the whole United Kingdom.

Bill Sparks Friction On The Left

Tensions have arisen between Podemos, the driving force behind the law, and the Socialists, who have fought in vain to amend the measure since it was adopted by the cabinet in June 2021.
The feminist movement is now split between those who favor Montero and those who reject the text, including a formidable feminist lobby affiliated with the Socialists.
When gender is asserted over biological sex, it does not seem to me to be a step forward in a progressive direction; it seems to be a step backwards.- Carmen Calvo, Sanchez's former deputy
Fearing that males who identify as women would be able to participate in women's sports or seek a transfer to women's prisons, activists worry that the legislation will be subject to misuse and diminish women's rights.
They have also sounded the alarm about the right of children as young as 12 to have gender confirmation surgery with parental consent.
Socialists' motion to expand judicial authorization to those aged 14 and 15 was rejected, and the result was largely seen as a win for Montero and Podemos.
The transgender law which will be approved today in parliament symbolises the Socialist party's biggest defeat by Podemos during this legislature.- The conservative El Mundo newspaper
LGBTQ activist Carla Antonelli, the first and only trans woman to serve as a politician, resigned from the Socialist Party due to tensions over the legislation.
We have seen part of the Socialist party and the feminist movement go from defending the rights of the trans minority to ruthlessly boycotting our very existence.- Carla Antonelli

Heavy Parliamentary Discussion

Euforia Trans Family Alliance vice president Saida Garcia told the Associated Press newsagency that the upcoming changes in Spain would impact the daily lives of many of the organization's members.
It’s always been a problem when your ID doesn’t match your identity in a job interview, or at the doctor’s office, or when boarding public transport. We are so happy to get to this point. It seemed it was never going to come.- Saida Garcia, Euforia Trans Family Alliance vice president
The junior party in the coalition administration, the far-left Unidas Podemos (United We Can), has sponsored the law that has been the topic of heated parliamentary discussion for the last 18 months.
It was strongly opposed by conservative opposition parties and caused friction within Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's Socialist Party, which attempted but failed to submit an amendment requiring judicial supervision for minors under the age of 16 who seek to alter their recorded gender.

Final Words

Podemos, the extreme leftist junior partner in Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's Socialist-led government, now controls the ministry and counts this law as one of its hallmark achievements.
In the past, kids in Spain required court authorization to have the procedure, while adults may seek it with a medical report attesting to gender dysphoria and evidence of hormonal therapy for two years.
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