After a tough dispute within the Government, the Council of Ministers has given the green light this Tuesday to the ‘trans law’ finally merged with the LGTBI. Thus begins, in the middle of Pride week, the process of the Draft project for the real and effective equality of trans people and for the guarantee of the rights of LGTBI people, that has stressed the members of the Executive during the last year. The norm contemplates the self-determination of gender, a historical fight of trans people, who will no longer have to declare themselves ill to modify their legal sex in the DNI. They will do so based on the free expression of their will and will reaffirm the decision before the Civil Registry after three months.
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This was the formula that finally unraveled the tough negotiations between the Ministry of Equality, Justice and the first vice-presidency of the Government, whose disagreements have delayed the approval of the text. Spain thus joins a handful of countries that have depathologized the recognition of identity, as requested by various international organizations, including Argentina and six others in Europe such as Portugal, Malta or Denmark. The norm recognizes that any person over sixteen years of age may request by himself before the Civil Registry the rectification of the registration mention of sex. It thus reforms the law of 2007, considered a milestone at the time, but that requires those who require it to have a report that diagnoses them with gender dysphoria and spend two years on hormones.
The Minister of Finance and Government spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, stressed that the approval represents a “very important advance in the conquest of rights and freedoms” that places “once again” Spain “at the forefront of Europe” of progress social. With the rule, the spokesperson continued, the Government intends to “overcome the historical invisibility, stigmatization and lack of recognition of the rights of LGTBI persons.”
The struggle for LGTBI legislation, which will finally be a single law as requested by the PSOE, has dragged on within the coalition. Last February, the department headed by Irene Montero presented two separate drafts from which Carmen Calvo was immediately unmarked, refusing to have it carried out based on the “mere will” of the person and echoing the opposition of a sector of the movement feminist. The legal sex change has been the main stumbling block during these months: the socialists argued that allowing it affected “legal security” and even proposed that it be done through witnesses or other types of documentation, but self-determination was a red line for Equality and LGTBI groups, who have played a key and decisive role in the progress of the process.
In recent weeks, and before the imminent arrival of LGTBI Pride, negotiations intensified due to the fear of the socialists of being vetoed on the most symbolic date for the group. The PSOE presented a bill in 2017 that Congress was about to approve in the same terms as the Equality draft, but its position has changed since then. Last June, an internal argument was forceful against self-determination and claimed that it lacked “legal rationality.” After the agreement, the slogans distributed by the management they accept that the text, which does not make explicit as such the right to free self-determination of gender, “recognizes the freely expressed will” and they point out that the two-phase procedure makes it “fully guaranteed”.
“A first step”
For the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans and Bisexuals (FELGTB) Triángulo and Chrysallis, the beginning of the process is a “first step so that the rights of the group begin their journey”, although there is also some discomfort in the movement with which the regulation issues such as self-determination without distinction of age or non-binary people have been left behind. The closed text allows the change of legal sex 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 through judicial authorization.
The draft is not in the end a comprehensive trans law, but this content is part of an LGTBI law in the form of a specific chapter. Although all eyes have focused these months on the legal sex change, it also incorporates other measures. Thus, it includes specific protocols in the field of health for the care of trans people, prohibits so-called conversion therapies, which normally in the form of psychological therapies are intended to modify a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, or prohibits surgeries for non-medical reasons on intersex people.
It also puts an end to two long-awaited discriminations by lesbian and bisexual women: the repeal of the ministerial order approved by the PP in 2014 and that excluded them from assisted reproductive techniques, and allowing female partners to affiliate their partners. sons and daughters in the Civil Registry without obligation to marry, as is currently the case. Transgender people with childbearing capacity will also be included in assisted reproductive techniques.
The norm has been considerably reduced with respect to the drafts prepared by Equality: direct incentives for companies that hire trans people have been eliminated, or the inclusion of the hormone of minors in the basic portfolio of services, one of the points of greatest friction. This implies that, as has happened until now, this depends on the regulation made by the autonomous communities. In most, LGTBI groups confirm, you can already access hormonal blockers at the beginning of puberty and hormones from 16. The text has also renounced to incorporate issues that affected non-binary people that were considered by Equality.