The government has tabled amendments to marriage laws in Tasmania to facilitate same-sex marriage, but has stopped short of providing changes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act lobbied for by the state’s LGBTI community.
Transforming Tasmania earlier this year embarked on a campaign to have the requirement for reproductive surgery removed to change birth certificates as well as for gender markers to be erased.
The group also wants forced divorce laws for transgender and gender-diverse Tasmanians to be scrapped.
Attorney-General Elise Archer said she would refer those issues to the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute to assess the implications of such reforms.
“We do not believe these reforms should be rushed to meet the time frames of our implementation of the bill,” she said.
“I am concerned that the subsequent amendments required to fully implement same-sex marriage are not undermined by amendments focused on discrete, different reforms, however.”
Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT have made moves to remove the surgical requirement for a sex change on birth certificates.
Transforming Tasmania spokesperson Martine Delaney said transgender people were the only group of Tasmanians who faced a disparity between the gender listed on their birth certificate and their public identity which led to implications when seeking employment or applying for a passport.
She said she had little confidence the government would heed the recommendations of a review by the law reform institute given inaction over former Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Bank’s review of the legislation three years ago.
“I can see absolutely no justification for resisting the reform.”
Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said the party believed it was a “cruel provision” under law for a person to have to undergo reproductive surgery to have their gender formally recognised.
“It’s unfair and we don’t support an extensive referral to the law reform institute when the case for change has been made,” she said.
Ms O’Connor said the party would move to bring amendments to that effect when the legislation is debated in Parliament.