The Government will legislate to eliminate the medical requirements so that trans people can change their sex in the Civil Registry, according to sources from the Ministry of Equality assured this Wednesday. Until now, it is required that they have been taking hormones for at least two years and a medical or psychological report that supports the existence of gender dysphoria. In the coalition executive, made up of the PSOE and United We Can, a socialist internal argument has recently leaked showing discrepancies on this point. Sources from the Ministry of Equality, led by Irene Montero (United We Can), have assured this Wednesday that “gender self-determination” and “depathologization” will be included in the legislative package to protect the rights of the LGTBI collective in which the Department. The statement comes in the middle of a storm within feminism, precisely as a result of the argument of the PSOE in which the party is against the fact that “the feelings, expressions and manifestations of the will of the person” have “automatically full legal effects” and defends that the “situation of transsexuality” is duly accredited.
Equality officials do not comment on the matter and limit themselves to referring to the Executive’s “commitment”, reflected in the government agreement reached between United Podemos and the PSOE, in which both parties maintain that they will carry out three laws during this term: the comprehensive law for equal treatment and non-discrimination; the law against discrimination of LGTBI persons, which “prohibits at the national level the so-called reversal therapies”; and a trans law “that works effectively to eradicate all forms of discrimination” towards the group. Nothing is said about the right to self-determination of gender identity in the pact.
The internal document of the PSOE, signed by Carmen Calvo, First Vice President of the Government and Secretary of Socialist Equality, and by José Luis Ábalos, Minister of Transport and Secretary of Organization of the party, manifests itself against the “right to self-determination of the sexual identity ”, since“ it lacks legal rationality ”. They refer to the 2007 law that regulates the way in which to proceed to change sex in the Civil Registry. This is the regulation that requires providing a medical or psychological certificate and showing that the person has been undergoing hormonal treatment for at least two years. The same law that the PSOE itself wanted to change in 2017 with a non-law proposal registered in Congress in which it was established that the request to modify the registry would not require more requirements than the “express declaration of the person with the proper name and registered sex ”. A text that was worked on in a presentation with the rest of the political parties.
The secretary of Social Movements of the PSOE, Mónica Silvana, affirmed this Wednesday that the argument is part of an internal debate and that she considers that the moment when it was met, a few weeks ago, was “not appropriate”. He maintains that in this document they refer to the 2007 law because it is currently in force, but he agrees to re-register a text in Congress to promote its modification, “as the latest electoral programs include.” He does point out that the argument expresses concern that this may mean that the meaning of being a woman is blurred and with it her rights may be violated. For example, the document asks whether, if it is enough for a man to say that he feels like a woman at a specific moment, “an abuser could point out that he feels like a woman” and therefore may not be tried for this crime or how it may affect this to parity policies.
Equality sources assure that “they will work to ensure that gender self-determination is depathologized, something demanded by the UN, the European Council and the European Parliament” and that this is the “commitment of the Government.” These sources specify that the right to self-determination of gender will be included in the LGTBI law and in the trans law, although they are still studying in which regulation of the three that they are preparing to include changes to make depathologization effective, such as modification of the 2007 law, and therefore make the right effective. For this reason, they point out that they must “spin fine” so that there are no “situations of ambiguity”. They affirm that this right must be reconciled with “legal certainty.” And they continue: “The World Health Organization understands that transsexuality is not a pathology. Spanish law cannot go behind ”. However, this same Tuesday, at the press conference after the Council of Ministers, the spokesman minister, María Jesús Montero (PSOE), avoided answering if gender self-determination would be included in the LGTBI law.
“I want you to know that your lives matter and that institutionally we are not going to go backwards,” said the Minister of Equality this Wednesday during the presentation of the Pride 2020 campaign, addressing the group of trans people. “This Government is going to do everything possible so that your lives are like the others, worth living, free lives and above all happy,” added Montero. Along with her was Boti G. Rodrigo, general director of Sexual Diversity and LGTBI Rights, who has affirmed that the LGTBI collective “is hungry for rights” and that “you cannot take steps back or leave anyone out”.
The socialist argument, a document that was sent to the secretaries and spokesmen for Equality and dated June 9, states that the party’s commitment “to transgender people and the fight for the achievement of their rights is unquestionable.” It is added that they do not intend to “question whether a person feels like a man or a woman, regardless of their biological sex or the physical aspect they want to manifest, but rather how a feeling and its expression are transferred —especially when it does not remain stable over time— to legal system and what are the implications of doing so ”. For this reason, they demand that respect for the individual rights of trans people be carried out “within the framework of the principle of legal certainty.” And they add that by this they refer to the 2007 law already mentioned.
The Minister of Equality had promised that the LGTBI law would be approved in the preliminary phase by the Council of Ministers before the summer, but the pandemic has disrupted the plans. Montero, who this morning presented the Pride 2020 campaign, explained that in the next few days the period of prior consultation with social groups will be opened to make their contributions and later prepare the preliminary draft that will be submitted to the Council of Ministers, for which that will be based on a text already prepared by organizations of the group, according to sources in his department. This norm is more advanced, according to these sources, given that it was worked on in the previous legislature in Congress, where “political consensus” was reached. Like the equal treatment law, which “was about to be approved” in the lower house, but the electoral call frustrated it. The text will address hate crimes and a possible advocacy for equal treatment. The trans law itself is in a more initial phase. Equality sources maintain that “the three regulations will be worked on in parallel” and that rapid progress can be made both in the LGTBI law and in that of equal treatment.
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