On Friday 4th September, TENI warmly welcomed the announcement that the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, had signed the Commencement Order for the Gender Recognition Act 2015. This will enable trans people to be formally recognised in their preferred gender for all purposes by the Irish State for the first time. As of Tuesday 8th September trans people will be able to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate from the Department of Social Protection and subsequently obtain a new birth certificate.
“The wait for legal recognition is finally over. The practical and symbolic importance of being recognised in the eyes of the State cannot be underestimated. This is a turning point for trans rights in Ireland and I hope this leads to further positive changes for our community,” said TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone. “This is also the end of a very long journey for Dr Lydia Foy who will soon have her correct birth certificate.”
All trans people, regardless of marital status, will be able to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate. The Tánaiste stated today that the requirement to be single (so-called ‘forced divorce’ clause) would not be commenced in the legislation: “I am particularly happy that we are in a position to immediately provide this recognition to transgender people regardless of their marital status. The Commencement Order which I have signed specifically excludes those elements of the legislation which required that applicants for gender recognition be single. I was able to do so because the President has very recently signed the results of the Marriage Equality Referendum into law.”
“We warmly welcome the Tánaiste’s remarks and are delighted that trans people who are married or in civil partnerships will be able to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate,” said TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone. “Married trans people will no longer be forced to choose between their families and their right to be legally recognised. This is a great day for families in Ireland.”
TENI will continue to advocate for the meaningful inclusion of young, intersex and non-binary people in the Gender Recognition Act. TENI will also have a step-by-step guide to applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate on our website (www.teni.ie) next week.
The application form for the Gender Recognition Certificate will be available on the Department’s website (www.welfare.ie) on Tuesday 8th September with further background information. The application form can also be obtained through the post by contacting Client Identity Services, Department of Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41 KD81 or by phone at 071 9672659.
information Courtesy of TENI Press Release 4/9/15
Focus: The identity Trust warmly welcomes the introduction of this liberal piece of legislation for adult citizens of the Rep of Ireland but echoes the words of Senator Jillian Van Turnhout who described the exclusion of children from the gender recognition bill 2014 as fundamentally wrong.
She said “I cannot sit silently by as we tell Trans children and young people to sit in the corner and wait for their rights to be upheld, maybe, at some point down the road.”
Focus: The Identity Trust would agree that there are few groups in Ireland ( North and South) more vulnerable and marginalised than our transgender children and young people.
These children do exist, we are talking about real children throughout Ireland right now, many of whom are living a daily nightmare from as early as 3 and 5 years of age where their gender identity doesn’t match the sex they were assigned at birth and that, therefore, indicated on their birth certificate.
These children and their parents face numerous challenges as so many of our services (North and South) are driven by our birth certificates.
Education is a classic example of the barriers transgender children face in trying to live their young lives in the gender with which they identify. On the island of Ireland we have predominately single sex school system were enrolment is dictated by the sex on the birth certificate. The question should be asked loudly are we going to stand over legislation which would allow unnecessary distress, embarrassment, humiliation and potentially serious psychological harm to prevail in these young peoples lives before they are eligible to have their true gender identity legally acknowledged and recognised.
Focus: The Identity Trust now calls upon politicians and Human Rights activists to press for the full implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
which guarantees that the views of the child are heard and acted upon as they evolve capacity when key decisions are made about their lives.