The Government approves the 'trans law' that recognizes the right to gender self-determination

The government has given the green light to the 'trans law' on the eve of the day that LGTBI Pride is commemorated. The norm will thus continue its process in the Cortes just one year after it was approved in the first round in the Council of Ministers after the harsh discrepancies that it aroused between the partners. The law for the real and effective equality of trans people and for the guarantee of the rights of LGTBI people has not undergone major changes in key measures, including gender self-determination, a historic fight of trans people, which they will no longer have to declare illness to change their legal sex.

Almost all communities already have trans laws awaiting the state

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"The State recognizes their right to be", assured the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, who explained that the rectification will be carried out "within a maximum period of four months" with a "double appearance" system, that is, they must reaffirm their decision after three months before the Civil Registry. The head of Equality has explained that the text has changed Regarding its first version regarding foreign trans people, that at first it left them out even if they had papers or were asylum seekers. Finally, they will be able to change the "documents issued in Spain" provided that "in their country of origin their rights are not guaranteed", he added.

The rule recognizes that transgender people may apply to the Civil Registry for rectification without the need to provide psychological reports or the obligation to take hormones for two years, which are the requirements established by current legislation. They will have, yes, to reaffirm the decision after three months. In general, legal sex change will be allowed from the age of 12, not before, in different sections: from 16 without requirements, between 14 and 16 with the consent of their legal representatives, and between 12 and 14 by authorization judicial.

“Spain at the forefront” of LGTBI rights

The Government has also given the green light this Monday to an institutional declaration on the occasion of LGTBI Pride with which it plans to show its commitment to the objective that "all LGTBI lives are worth living, there are no closets and everyone can be who he is and develop his life projects in freedom”, added the minister. Montero has remarked that Spain "is once again at the forefront" of LGTBI rights, after the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero approved same-sex marriage in 2005.

Our country thus joins a bunch of states that have depathologized the recognition of identity, as requested by several international organizations, including Argentina and many others in Europe such as Portugal, Malta or Denmark. And it is added to the 14 regional legislations that the communities already have in force and that are based on the principle of free gender determination in the field of their competences, for example, in health or education. For LGTBI groups it is a first step, but they will ask that gender self-determination be extended to all minors and non-binary people during the parliamentary process, issues that have finally been left out.

The text returns to the political agenda again after having obtained the reports of the advisory bodies, pending the Fiscal Council, which is in the midst of renewing its mandate. As in its day it did with equal marriage or the Comprehensive Law against Gender Violence, the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) issued the most critical position and, although he endorsed gender self-determination, he demanded more controls in areas such as sports or gender violence.

Getting here has not been an easy road. The rule ran aground within the Executive due to the discrepancies between United We Can and the PSOE, which claimed that the legal change of sex on the DNI was not allowed based on the free will of the person concerned and echoing the position of a part of the feminist movement, which considers that the norm can harm women who are not trans. Gender self-determination was the main stumbling block, but finally the socialists accepted with the formula that the person has to reaffirm their decision after three months before the Civil Registry in a kind of period of reflection.

Conversion therapies or health protocols

Although it was the measure that focused the most attention and sparked debates, gender self-determination is not the only one in the text. In fact, it is not even just a 'trans law' as such, but ultimately this content is a chapter of a broader LGTBI law, as the PSOE claimed from the beginning.

It also includes the end of the marriage requirement for female couples they can affiliate their sons and daughters, since currently, if they do not marry, the only option that the non-pregnant mother has is to adopt the child. It also prohibits and considers conversion therapies, those that seek to modify a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, to be a "very serious" infraction; prohibits surgeries for non-medical reasons on intersex babies or promotes the creation of protocols in the field of health and campaigns that specifically take into account the LGTBI community.

In the educational field, the text is not particularly new. It basically applies what the new education law already recognizes, that is, the incorporation of affective-sexual and LGTBI diversity in the basic curriculum or the promotion of protocols against LGTBIphobia. For trans students, the centers must implement specific accompaniment protocols and against transphobic harassment and training in LGTBI diversity will be established in different areas such as access to public employment. In addition, victims of LGTBIphobia must be guaranteed "comprehensive and specialized" care with, at least, information on available resources, psychological assistance and legal guidance.

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