Spain’s government on Thursday approved a law allowing people aged 16 and over to change their legally registered gender without psychological and medical evaluation for showing gender dysphoria, by self-declaration. Became one of the few countries to allow this type of gender change.
Spain’s equality minister, Irene Monteiro, said on the parliament floor on Thursday that the new law recognized transgender people’s right to independent determination and prevented being transgender from being treated as a pathology.
“Trans people are not sick people,” she said. “Those are the people, full stop.”
Spain is among the first countries to pass such a law after countries like Denmark and Argentina. Similar proposals have divided public opinion elsewhere. Last month, Britain’s government overruled Scotland’s parliament for the first time, blocking legislation that would have allowed transgender people to keep the gender with which they are legally recognized by making a declaration. The plan would have removed the requirement for “evidence of a diagnosis of gender dysphoria”.
Spanish lawmakers on Thursday also gave final approval to a law allowing paid leave for women diagnosed with severe menstrual pain, becoming the first country in Europe to do so. They also provided access to abortions to minors 16 years of age and older without parental or guardian consent.
The gender law has caused friction between the right and the left, but also within the Socialist Party, Spain’s largest liberal party.
Victor Gutierrez, LGBT secretary of the Socialist Party, praised the writing on Twitter that it was “legislation to improve the lives of millions”.
But Carmen Calvo, a prominent socialist politician and former deputy prime minister, abstained from voting on the legislation, and a socialist senator said on twitter That MPs should reject it in the name of feminism and socialism.
“The laws that are being repealed in other countries should not be imposed by the will of a minority,” Feministas Socialistas, a union of socialist feminists, said in a statement.
But it was a belated victory for transgender rights activists.
Mar Cambrole Jurado, a transgender rights activist, wrote on Twitter, “Calvary is over.” “Today is a historic day for trans people.”
Under the new law, children between the ages of 14 and 16 will be able to legally change their gender in a civil registry if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, and children between the ages of 12 and 14 will need the authorization of a judge .
After the initial request for a legal gender change, the applicant must confirm their decision within three months.
The law also banned conversion treatments aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.