The Spanish government has approved a draft of a bill to allow anyone over the age of 14 to change their gender legally without a medical diagnosis or hormone therapy.
The cabinet decision yesterday, Tuesday 29th June was announced by the Minister For Equality, Irene Montero.
The draft bill, removes the initial requirement for two years of hormone therapy as well as a psychological assessment in order to change gender, before this can be applied for and registered in official documents such as passports and national identity cards.
Speaking at a news conference, Montero said: “This is an historic day after more than 15 years without any legislative progress,”
“We send a strong message for the protection of LGBTI people,”
Some LGBTI+ activists say the draft bill does not go far enough, though the Spanish parliament’s rejected an earlier proposal to give children total freedom to legal gender recognition.
Spain was one of the first countries to legalise same sex marriage and the latest proposal puts the country at the centre of Europe’s debate about the rights of LGBT people.
The draft bill, also bans LGBT conversion therapies, Spain is set to join two dozen countries aiming to decouple gender choice from medical procedures and would become the largest European country to introduce self-identification.
The draft bill is part of a political agreement signed between Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) and its left-wing junior coalition partner Unidas Podemos. The deal has taken months of negotiations due to the conflicting positions of the two governing parties.
Saida Garcia of the Euforia non-governmental organisation, which supports transgender children, said the bill failed to accommodate people aged 12 and 13, who require court approval for the process, and younger children who are excluded
A collective of about 50 feminist groups said it opposed the bill. “These legal reforms are regressive and it is essential to stop them in order not to lose the protection of the specific rights against gender-based oppression,” said the Confluencia Feminista federation in a statement.