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Complications for Transgender Recognition in Ireland

Complications for Transgender Recognition in Ireland

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New legislation to recognize gender identity in Ireland has raised concerns because of the conditions it imposes on people who wish to obtain recognition, for example, by forcing married couples to divorce.

The Journal reports on an announcement this week from the Gender Recognition Advisory Group that legislation would be published in the next year. The bill results from the case of Dr. Lydia Foy, who last year won her 13-year fight to be recognized as a woman.

According to The Journal, the bill will establish a three-member panel to assess applications and issue legal gender recognition certificates in addition to new birth certificates. Strict conditions are to be imposed.

"The bill sets out that a person whose gender has been legally recognized would be entitled to marry a person of the opposite sex, or to enter a civil partnership with a person of the same sex," reports The Journal.

"The Department of Social Protection states that in order to qualify for recognition a person must be over 18 and must have been living for at least two years in their new gender. A formal medical diagnosis of their condition must be provided."

The Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI), along with other advocacy groups, has expressed serious concerns that the bill under consideration would prohibit people already in marriages or civil partnerships from receiving gender recognition unless they break up their relationships. TENI also criticized the requirement for a formal medical diagnosis or gender reassignment surgery in order to be recognized.

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