Today, on August 7 2015, the Polish Senate adopted the first gender recognition legislation in the country. Transgender Europe (TGEU) welcomes the Gender Marker Change Act as it brings legal certainty and respect to many trans people and calls upon the Polish president to sign the new Act into law without delay.
The Act is viewed by Polish trans activists as important to establish quick, transparent and accessible gender recognition procedures. Already approved by the Parliament, the law does not foresee physical interventions, but stresses the involvement of mental health experts. In addition to two independent expert statements from a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist or sexologist, a sexologist and/ or a psychologist need to be present during the gender recognition court session. In case of an applicant with minor children, a paediatric psychologist should also be present.
Trans people who are underage, foreign, or married cannot change their documents under this law.
Despite its shortcomings, the new legislation is of major importance for the daily life of trans people in Poland: 78% of Polish trans people think that quicker and easier legal gender recognition procedures would allow them to live more comfortable as a transgender person, according to the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA, LGBT Survey 2014). Currently Polish trans people have to sue their parents to have their documents changed. A lamentable practice that will become a thing of the past if the new Act becomes law.
“The Senators confirmed today that trans rights are human rights.” Comments Arja Voipio, TGEU co-chair:
“Congratulations to the Polish trans community who together with MP Anna Grodzka did a fantastic job in educating the public in at times challenging debates.”
“This law is an important step recognizing the existence of trans people and their human rights in Poland.” comments Alecs Recher, TGEU co-chair:
“The Polish government should now ensure the swift implementation of the law and immediately start conversations with trans rights civil society to ensure that rights of young trans people, foreigners, those who are married and gender-variant people are included in a next step. We expect Andrzej Duda as former member of the European Parliament and as President elected to quickly sign the Act into law.”