Spain’s Equality Ministry has drafted a law which would allow transgender people to change their official gender without any medical checks.

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On 3 February the Spanish Equality Ministry introduced a bill that would allow transgender people to officially change their gender on their ID document, without a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. Currently, to change gender in Spain, the individual must undergo medical and psychological exams or several years of hormone treatment.

In the newly proposed bill, the process of acquiring a gender change will be made more accessible. Under the planned legislation, titled the “law for real and effective equality for trans people,” an individual aged 16 or over would be able to change their name and gender in the civil registry with a sworn statement.  This would remove the need for medical checks or hormone treatments.

Non-binary people – who identify as neither male nor female – is also being considered in the proposed bill. and suggesting the possibility of eliminating the gender category on their official documents. The new legislation would recognize the rights of non-binary individuals.

The draft bill was part of a governing agreement signed between the Socialist Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos after the inconclusive results of the 2019 general election.

 

Spain allow transgender people to change their official gender without any medical checks
Equality Minister Irene Montero

 

The draft bill was part of a political agreement signed between Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos. The Equality Ministry, led by Irene Montero of Unidas Podemos, met with over 20 LGBTQ+ and trans collectives to discuss and finalize the proposed law.

But the draft law has been met with some backlash. According to Reuters, several ministers from Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist party were not in agreement of the gender self-identification bill.

Feminist groups such as ‘Against the Elimination of Women’ and ‘Feminist Convergence Movement’, have raised concerns around the structures of sex and gender. Both groups believe that the distinction between sex and gender must be preserved, arguing that easier access to change gender can “eliminates” the experience of women.

PSOE and Unidas Podemos’ draft is advocating for the right of gender expression, to make hormone blockers more accessible, to allow individuals aged 16 and older to decide their own gender, to offer recognition of trans and non-binary individuals, and to encourage LGBTQ+ education.

 

Main points of the draft law:

Right to gender self-expression. change official gender without any medical checks.

Hormone treatment and minors. In the case of minors, the bill considers allowing hormone blockers “at the onset of puberty” to help suppress the development of breasts and facial hair, followed by cross-sex hormone therapy – testosterone for trans men and estrogen for trans women. The age of consent for hormone treatment is set at 16.

Legal defender. The bill gives individuals from the age of 16 the final word on what their gender and name are on their DNI.

Prospective rights. The text allows a person “to exercise all the rights inherent to their new condition” as a man or woman, but it does not allow these rights to be given retrospectively. The bill outlines that “it will not change the ownership of rights and legal obligations that could correspond to a person before their registry change was inscribed.”

 

Recognition of non-binary people.

Assisted reproductive treatment. trans people “with the ability to reproduce” will have access to assisted reproductive technologies.

Sports. trans people will be able to participate in any sport.

Prisons. The bill gives trans people the right to “be treated and separated according to their registered gender”

Education. The bill “guarantees” the right of trans students to express their gender identity.

Foreigners. The draft law also gives foreign residents in Spain the right to gender self-identification, “regardless of their administrative situation.”

Work. Establishes incentives for workplaces that hire “unemployed trans people, with special difficulties in joining the workforce.”

 

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