Tasmanian LGBTI advocates have welcomed the state government’s commitment to removing the requirement that transgender people divorce before their gender can be officially recognised, but say the reform should go further.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Martine Delaney, said,

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to removing the archaic requirement that transgender partners divorce before their true gender is officially recognised, but this is just one of the unnecessary hurdles to fair and equal treatment for transgender and gender diverse Tasmanians.”

“We are talking to the Government about also removing the requirement that transgender people must have surgery before their gender is officially recognised on their birth certificate.”

“Some transgender people can’t have surgery for medical or financial reasons, and it is unfair to leave them in legal limbo.”

“The government should stop meddling in the lives of transgender and gender diverse people, and allow us the same opportunities in life as everyone else.”

Today, Attorney-General, Elise Archer, confirmed the Government will move on transgender forced divorce in response to a question from the Greens.

Last year’s marriage equality legislation placed an obligation on the states to remove the forced divorce provision by early December this year.

Several years ago Tasmania became the first Australian state where legislation removing the forced divorce requirement was introduced. So far, Victoria, NSW, South Australia, the ACT and Queensland have removed the requirement.

The forced divorce requirment applies to married partners who go through gender transition so that they are effectively same-sex partners. Because Australian law did not recognise same-sex marriages until last year, married transgender partners were forbidden from having their gender identity officially recognised by state governments.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Martine Delaney