Parliament: Speeches on Bills

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: I again take the floor briefly to indicate my support for this bill and all other pieces of legislation in the ‘rainbow raft’ of legislation, as it has become known. I am very happy to be on a rainbow raft sailing down the river of life. This bill contains a very simple change that will make a big difference to the lives of those people who are transgender in our South Australian community, because it will simply allow them to have their true gender identity properly recognised on their birth certificate.

At the moment, not being able to easily do so causes many difficulties, including feelings of not being recognised or respected for who the person genuinely is but also more practical issues such as, because it is easier to change some documents than others, there arises some inconsistency in how the person’s gender is identified in documentation which, therefore, can also cause some legal, practical difficulties. This is a very simple change that we can make and, importantly, with the passage of this bill, which I certainly hope will eventuate, it will also be able to happen, as has been said by other members, without that person having to prove that they have undergone gender-affirming surgery.

This is important for a number of reasons as explained to me by some members of the transgender community who came in to brief members on why this bill was important to them, and I thank them for that. Those issues include the fact that surgery can be financially prohibitive for many people, or it just might not be the right choice for them. They might be quite happy to identify as their chosen gender without needing to change their body gender which, as we are increasingly understanding as a society, is a very nuanced concept.

We need to make sure that we are giving people as much freedom as possible to identify in accordance with their own wishes for the good of their physical and mental health. With those very brief words, I am happy once again to lend my support to this bill.