Queensland parliament signals major changes to birth certificates for LGBT people

Major changes to birth certificates, which would better recognize trans and gender diverse people, could be up for debate in the Queensland parliament later this year.

Attorney General Shannon Fentiman previously signaled legislative reforms to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act after outcry from LGBT activists.

One of these included the potential removal of the requirement for a person to undergo sex reassignment surgery to change the sex listed on their birth certificate.

During an Estimates hearing on Wednesday, Ms. Fentiman confirmed that an exposure draft of the bill had been completed.

She told the hearing that the law review was intended to ensure that state registration services remained “relevant”, The Mail Mailreports.

“This includes exploring arrangements that will allow transgender and gender diverse people to have their gender identity accurately reflected on a birth certificate,” Ms Fentiman said.

“I recognize that this is such a big issue for many Queenslanders.

“Attention has been given to reforms that have taken place in other states and the reforms being considered will bring Queensland into line with just about every other jurisdiction.”

The development comes after a petition to Ms Fentiman last year called on the Queensland state government to better recognize LGBT+ people under BDMR law.

“Residents of Queensland draw the House’s attention to the fact that current legislation is the weakest in the country for the recognition of trans and gender diverse people, and should be updated,” says the petition, which has collected more than 10,800 signatures.

“To include persons of a third gender or non-binary gender, birth certificates must have at least one additional option ‘X’.

“The limit of one name change per year can also be a barrier for trans people, and should be increased or given exceptions for name changes for gender-affirming reasons.”

Besides Queensland, NSW is the only other state which requires people to have undergone surgery to change the gender of their birth certificate.

Originally published as Qld Parliament plans to remove requirement to undergo sex change surgery from birth certificate