Teens in Spain can change gender on paper without medical evaluation

AFP/The Local
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Teens in Spain can change gender on paper without medical evaluation
Children in Spain over the age of 12 will also also now be able to change their given name. Photo: Aedrian/Unsplash

Spain's Cabinet on Monday approved a transgender rights bill allowing anyone over 16, in some cases as young as 12, to easily change gender on their ID documents.


The legislation, which will still need to be approved in the Spanish Parliament, will make Spain one of the few countries in Europe to permit gender self-determination.

"We have approved the second reading of the trans and LGBTI rights law which will now be brought to parliament before the summer," said Equality Minister Irene Montero  on the eve of International Pride Day.

"We are once again at the forefront and an international reference in defence of LGBTI rights and, in particular, in defence of the rights of transgender people," she said.


"We are recognising the right to self-determination of gender identity and we are depathologising trans realities," she said of the move to stop categorising trans-related conditions as mental and behavioural disorders.

First approved a year ago, the proposed law means any Spaniard over 16 "will be able to apply to change the sex of their entry in the civil registry office".

They will also be able to change their given name.

The bill effectively simplifies the procedure for changing gender on official identity documents, allowing the applicant to request the change on the basis of a simple statement, dropping the requirement for a medical report attesting to gender dysphoria or proof of hormonal treatment.

Under the new law, the reregistration procedure must be completed "within a maximum of four months," she said.

The bill allows those as young as 12 to make the change but only under certain conditions.

"Between the ages of 14 and 16, the procedure will require parental authorisation; between the ages of 12 and 14, the procedure can be carried out through voluntary legal proceedings," Montero said.

And it will also mean trans children under 12 will "be able to change their name on their ID card," she said, without saying how such a procedure would work.

The legislation also bans conversion therapy, the pseudoscientific practice of attempting to change a person's sexual orientation.


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