Under the new legislation, people who wish to have their change of gender recognised by the state – in birth certs, passports, driving licenses – will simply make a formal declaration of their “settled and solemn intention” to that effect.
The bill speaks to an ongoing shift in Ireland, which did not decriminalize homosexuality until the 1990s, but in May passed a referendum to allow same-sex marriage through popular vote.
Irish lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill that will allow transgender people to legally change their gender without medical intervention.
Furthermore, since the legalisation of same-sex marriage in May, trans people will also not be required to divorce or end a civil partnership, in order to have their preferred gender legally recognised.
The Republic of Ireland now does not legally recognise transgender people at all – but following a protracted legal battle with trans woman Dr Lydia Foy, the government previous year committed to passing a trans recognition law.
“I think this is one of the most historic moments for our community”, said Mr Giambrone. “Self-determination is at the core of our human rights”, Phillips said in a statement.
Last month, the Norwegian government tabled a bill that would allow children as young as seven to change their legal gender with parental approval.
‘We remain concerned that the Act still stipulates that 16 and 17-year-olds require a court order to obtain legal recognition of their gender, ‘ it added.
Richard Köhler, a senior policy officer at Transgender Europe, said: “A considerable part of the trans community remains excluded. Minors, intersex people and those with a non-binary identity deserve recognition, too”.
Amnesty worldwide estimates up to 1.5 million people across Europe are transgender, a term that describes those who identify as a different gender from the one they were born with.