Wednesday, October 20

Equality provides for legal sex change without medical report and hormonal treatments from the age of 16 | Society

The Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, in Congress in October 2020.
The Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, in Congress in October 2020.Juan Carlos Hidalgo / EFE

The Ministry of Equality already has the draft of the Law for the real and effective equality of trans people ready, a rule included in the government agreement between United Podemos and PSOE that has opened a bitter gap in the feminist movement and between the Government partners and that foresees significant changes for the group. The main one is known as free gender self-determination, which means that anyone can change their name and sex in the civil registry only with their will from the age of 16. That is also the cutoff age for making hormonal treatment decisions. The norm foresees the recognition of non-binary identities —those people who do not feel like men or women— and the possibility of eliminating the mention of sex in their official documents. It also opens access to reproductive treatments “to trans people with the ability to conceive.”

The opposition on the part of feminism to this norm —among them, some historical representatives of the movement that are closest to the PSOE— opened a gap between the government partners. In summer, an argument from the PSOE, signed among others by Vice President Carmen Calvo, warned of the same risks that some historical feminists now underline, such as that the new law entails the “erasure of women”. The draft is based on an initiative presented by United We Can in 2017 but also on a presentation by the Justice Commission published in March 2019, promoted by the PSOE itself and endorsed unanimously.

A week ago the Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, and the Vice President of the Government, Carmen Calvo, met to discuss the development of this law and the LGTBI law. From the surroundings of Montero, they assure that they hope to start the legislative process of the trans law, that is, to take it to the Council of Ministers, already in the first half of February. From the environment of the vice president, they did not give a date of when the processing will start. These are the keys to the draft, to which this newspaper has had access:

Free determination of gender identity. Spain allows changing name and sex in the DNI without the need for a genital surgery since 2007. What is required for the change of sex in the registry is a medical or psychological report and at least two years of hormonal treatment. The new norm eliminates the requirement of this diagnosis of gender dysphoria “being sufficient the free declaration of the person concerned” from 16 years of age. The change of sex in the registry “does not require more requirements than the express declaration” of the person concerned. No psychological or medical proof will be required to change the name and the reference to sex in all administrative records and documents, nor will it be necessary to “modify the appearance or bodily function of the person through medical, surgical or other procedures. nature”. The procedures “will be free of costs or fees”, according to the draft. And they will be carried out by the person in charge of the civil registry.

Hormonal and minor treatments. In the case of minors, the draft of the law first contemplates a hormonal blocking treatment “at the beginning of puberty” to help stop the development of the breasts or the beard and walnut. And, later, the crossed hormonal treatment (testosterone for transsexual boys and estrogens for transsexual girls). Informed consent can be given from the age of 16.

All inherent rights, but not retroactive. This registration change, asking to be considered as the man or woman that the person feels, “will allow the person to exercise all the rights inherent to their new condition,” says Article 14. It includes a caveat that responds, in part, to the fears manifested by the part of feminism that looks at these regulations with suspicion. “It will not alter the ownership of the legal rights and obligations that may correspond to the person prior to the registration of the registry change,” says the draft, which only makes express mention of one: “in particular” to the Protection Measures Law Comprehensive Against Gender Violence.

Recognition of non-binary people. “For the first time in our legal system, it is expected that interested persons may request that their official identification documents omit the mention of sex,” says the draft. He adds: “It is intended to satisfy the demands of a part of the population that does not identify with either the male or female gender.” According to the draft, it is up to the Ministry of the Interior to “omit the mention of sex.” The Government “will send a report to the General Courts within a year on any regulatory modifications derived” where appropriate “from recognizing non-binary persons.

Assisted reproduction treatments. Trans people “with the capacity to carry” will have access to assisted reproductive techniques. It is also contemplated “the real and effective possibility” of accessing gonadal tissue and reproductive cell freezing techniques in people who undergo hormonal treatments.

A legal defender. Minors from 12 to 16 years old who want to make this registration change must do so through their legal representatives, normally through the family. But if they do not agree, “a judicial defender” will be appointed.

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