Parliament Buildings Stormont 8th December 2015
The Lord Chief Justice, Sir Declan Morgan presented an opportunity for law makers, the judiciary, legal professionals and academics to examine, compare and comment on current gender recognition legislation in Northern Ireland, the remainder of the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Globally.
Focus: the Identity Trust is a charitable trust in N.I It exists to provide support for Transgender and Intersex individuals and their families in the North and bordering counties.
We contribute to the creation and development of emerging policy and practice in relation to transgender and intersex individuals as they impact the areas of policy on employment and delivery of information and training to employers, public bodies and trade unions and the general public on issues affecting Transgender and intersex individuals.
It is a great honour for us to have David Ford MLA Minister for Justice to host our event in Stormont; and for His Lordship the Lord Chief Justice for N.I. Sir Declan Morgan agree to give the keynote address outlining our theme of this conference.
We are delighted to have our own Family and friends lead and student Minister Linda Ballard setting the tone with a personal note remarking on her journey as a proud parent of a transgender child.
It is again an honour for us to welcome Junior Minister Jennifer McCann whose office has shown such loyal support for Focus: The Identity Trust and transgender issues within government.
Finally summing up the days commentary a true friend and advocate of Human rights and equality Alyson Kilpatrick independent adviser to the policing board N.I. Alyson is particularly proud of her report on policing with and for transgender people; indeed she was awarded our Transgender Champion of the year award 2014.
The aim of our conference today is to call on the Stormont Executive to repeal current Gender Recognition Legislation and replace it with legislation which permits Transgender and Intersex individuals in Northern Ireland to:
- Have our gender recognized in law simply based on self-determination
- Enable Gender Non- Conforming Children and Transgender and Intersex Adolescents to have their true gender recognized on the same basis of self-determination
- Enable Intersex and other individuals who do not self-identify within the gender binary as currently legally recognized to have the right in law to be recognized in their unique gender identity as they choose to self-determine it to be
- Remain in whatever legally recognized relationship they are currently in ( which would mean no requirement to be single to access Gender Recognition procedures)
- Enshrine the right of Transgender and Intersex children and indeed all children to have access to the full range of Rights contained in the United Nations Charter on the Rights of the Child ( in particular, in respect of Transgender and Intersex children, the right to informed consent to their own permanent medical or surgical interventions to align their bodies to best fit their self-determined and expressed gender identity
We believe the time is now right for Northern Ireland to lead the way again, not only in Great Britain but globally.