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Amnesty Disappointed with Ireland's New Trans Bill

Amnesty Disappointed with Ireland's New Trans Bill

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Though happy it's being delivered before the end of the year as promised, Amnesty International says Ireland's gender-recognition bill will need amendments to make it good.

Amnesty International is calling the current draft of a promised and now-delivered gender-recognition bill in Ireland a missed opportunity to truly affirm the genders and human rights of trans Irish people, reports Pink News.

"This is a missed opportunity to enshrine the rights of all transgender people in Irish law," Denis Krivosheev of Amnesty told the U.K.-based news site. "This bill will require substantial changes if it is to tackle the serious issue of discrimination against transgender people."

Activists in Ireland's LGBT and human rights communities are pleased that the current government in Dublin is interested in making transgender equality a priority.

However, they have express surprise and disappointment that, unlike Scotland (which recently enacted a new equality measure), they appear not to have considered how to affirm gender without creating potentially harmful bureaucratic hoops through which some transgender people in the republic will have to jump in order to secure full recognition of their gender.

"Rather than making it as easy as possible for all transgender people to obtain legal recognition of their identity, there are several groups that will be short-changed by the bill - in particular those who are married or in civil partnerships, minors, and those who do not wish to undergo medical treatment," said Krivosheev.

"The bill completely overlooks the needs of those who may wish to remain married, or who are going through divorce proceedings, while obtaining legal recognition of their gender. This is a violation of their human rights.

Forced Divorce and 'Cruel Limbo'
"Instead, the bill cruelly forces transgender people to separate from their loved one - and then spend years in limbo without either a partner or the legal recognition of their identity," said Krivosheev. "Their only alternative being to sacrifice their gender identity in order to stay together."

Amnesty International recommends a case-by-case approach to addressing the needs of transgender children.

"Ireland's Gender Recognition Bill is a welcome piece of legislation, but it requires several amendments to fulfill its potential as a truly progressive move by the authorities."

Ireland's Marriage Equality Vote Coming
Ireland's deputy prime minister has announced that the country's long-anticipated voter referendum on marriage equality will be held in May of next year.

Irish Labor Party leader Joan Burton, who holds the post of deputy prime minister, or "Tanaiste" in local parlance, announced on Tuesday that the coalition cabinet in Dublin has agreed that May will see a popular vote held to determine whether same-sex couples will be allowed to legally marry in Ireland.

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