FLAC response to report on the Review of the Gender Recognition Act

29 November 2019

lgbt scales

FLAC welcomes the publication of Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty’s, Report on the Review of the Gender Recognition Act today. The report is a response to a Review Report given to the Minister in 2018, which made a wide range of recommendations designed to improve the current legislative framework that would vastly improve the lives of trans people, and young trans people in particular, if implemented.

Eilis Barry, FLAC Chief Executive said,

“While FLAC broadly welcomes these proposed amendments as a general step in the right direction, we join TENI and BelongTo in expressing our disappointment that the Government did not take this opportunity to implement all the recommendations in the Review Report furnished to Minister Doherty in June 2018.

“For children aged 16 and 17 applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate, they will still require parental consent although they will now enter a less arduous process than through the courts to seek gender recognition. There are also no current plans to change the arrangements for children under 16 years. Ireland has an opportunity to be a leader in trans rights and children’s rights and continuing a process whereby those aged 16 and 17 are still largely dependent on the support of their parents to have their gender recognised is a flawed situation. Further, leaving children under 16 with no avenue to gender recognition entirely dispenses with what may be in their best interests and breaches their human rights.

“In our submission FLAC made recommendations that non-binary individuals would be afforded legal recognition and the progress made here has been minimal, and we would urge the Minister to ensure any interdepartmental group examining the matter conclude their work urgently. The Act was introduced in 2015 and further delay is unacceptable.

“Further, the Department has failed to recognise the issues for intersex people, stating that they may identify as either male or female on their documents. This disregards that there are intersex people who may not wish identify with either gender.”