Greens support successful bill to expand Gender Recognition Act

10th May 2017

The Green Party has today given its full support to a Seanad private members bill that will expand the ability of 16-18 year old transgender people to legal recognition of their gender, and to include those identifying as non-binary in current law.

The cross-party bill, introduced by Senator Fintan Warfield (Sinn Féin), is co-signed by Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan and Senator David Norris (Ind), and amends the Gender Recognition Act 2015 to make it easier for 16 -18 year olds to seek a legal recognition of their true gender identity. Previously they required the certification of a number of medical professionals. The bill will also include those identifying as non-binary, something that was missing from the original act.

The bill was written with the assistance of the Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI) and enjoys their support.

Speaking on the Bill in the Seanad today, Senator O’Sullivan said “In light of the recent disturbing news about homophobic oppression in Chechnya, it is more important than ever that we reaffirm our support for progress. This bill will give not just practical help to young transgender and to non-binary people in legal and administrative areas – it will show them that their government and their country accepts and cherishes them as much as any other.”

The government has indicated that it will not be opposing the legislation, and that its provisions will inform their review of the existing legislation due this autumn.

Senator O’Sullivan again: “I welcome the government’s constructive approach to the bill, and want to congratulate Senator Warfield and TENI for their hard work in getting this important bit of progress across the line today. Progress, tolerance and acceptance are hard fought for principles, and they must be just as robustly defended.”