Michelle Lensink

BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES REGISTRATION (GENDER IDENTITY) AMENDMENT

Second Reading: adjourned debate on second reading (continued from 17 November 2016)

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (16:16): I will be supporting this bill. I think it is a long overdue
reform for our South Australian parliament. I commend the Hon. Tammy Franks from the Greens for
attempting to amend this legislation, previously the repeal of the Sexual Reassignment Act, and to
bring in provisions that will simplify matters for the transgender community. I would also like to thank
members of the transgender community, particularly Zoey Campbell, who is the convenor of the
gender identity reform group, and other members for coming into parliament a couple of weeks ago
to explain the practical difficulties that they have with the current legislation.
I think, in a nutshell, the current legislation is quite a difficult test for some people to go
through. If they do not wish to proceed with surgery, they are also required to obtain a certificate from
court, and if people are in the process of transitioning or they do not wish to go through with surgical
procedures then those criteria are too strict for them, and this is particularly difficult for young people.
We heard of the practical difficulties that people have in terms of their documentation. I think
it must be quite heart wrenching for lots of people to have to undergo that problem. I would also like
to again thank Zoey Campbell for the notes that she has provided us with in relation to this matter. I
would like to quote from that, and that may help to clarify some of the difficulties. Under 'Note One:
Why we need reform' there are a couple of dot points which I will read into the record:
This negative effect is due to social anxiety because of non-matching identity documents required for
employment, healthcare, Centrelink, housing and other matters. Trans people may regularly be required to out
themselves, and worry about social discrimination. The inability to gain accurate identity documents often causes
unnecessary affront to the transgender persons privacy.
Each person born in Australia may from time to time be called upon to certify their identity via their Birth
Certificate or an Extract.
I think that is certainly very true. It continues:
It is a serious social disadvantage to not have a Birth Certificate that reflects social presentation, and that
can be used for common purposes without fear of social challenge or abuse.
I understand that the provisions in this legislation match those that apply to passport documentation
and I note that there are also provisions to prevent the use of previous birth certificates for fraudulent
purposes. With those comments, I commend the bill to the house.

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