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News & Events

11 MAY 2017

Press Release: Gender Recognition (Amendment) Bill 2017 passes Second Stage in the Seanad

Yesterday (Wednesday, 10th May) the Gender Recognition (Amendment) Bill 2017, introduced by Senator Fintan Warfield and co-signed by Senator David Norris and Senator Grace O'Sullivan, passed the second stage of the Seanad with full support of the house. Thirteen Senators from all groups represented in the Seanad took the opportunity to urge the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, to ensure that young people and non-binary people have the opportunity to be legally recognised as their authentic selves.

The Bill, if enacted, will amend the Gender Recognition Act 2015 in three ways:


• Remove the arduous process for young people between 16 – 17 to receive gender recognition putting them on equal (informed consent) criteria to those over 18.

• Allow for young people under 16 to receive gender recognition with parental consent.

• Allow for non-binary persons to be specifically considered in the review of the Gender Recognition Act.


Senator Warfield said, "I welcome the positive support shown by all parties and independents today to the issue of gender recognition for young trans and non-binary people. The lack of legal recognition leaves them with substantial difficulties in everyday life regarding schools, travel, and work. I thank the Senators who supported the Bill passing through second stage and call on all parties to ensure the gender recognition of our young trans and non-binary people is made a reality in the near future.”


Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar assured the Senators of his commitment to the review process within the Gender Recognition Act 2015  stating, "My Department will undertake a review of the Gender Recognition Act this year as provided for in section 7 of the Act. The review will commence by September and officials of my Department are undertaking preparatory work. We expect the findings and conclusions of the review to be presented to the Oireachtas not later than September 2018. I again confirm that the position of persons who are non-binary will be considered as part of the review, as will that of 16 and 17-year olds and younger children".


"We are delighted that the Minister has committed to include both non-binary and younger children in the review. Legal recognition would greatly benefit young trans people by protecting their rights and supporting their well being and would go a long way to understanding the needs of non-binary people in Irish society today" said TENI Chair Sara R. Phillips. "However, it is important that the review listens to the voices of the trans community and takes into account the lived experience of young people navigating a society that not only discriminates against them for their age but also for being trans."


Dylan Donohoe, a young trans man, said, "This gives me great hope for the future and for those that come after me, that they won't have to go through the same difficulties as I've had to. It's tough enough being trans without having to always be worried about having to 'out' yourself. Being legally recognised would validate my very existence. It was a great day for the trans community. I love Senator Warfield for all he's done for us". 

You can read the transcript of yesterday's Seanad debate here.

You can read the full text of the Gender Recognition (Amendment) Bill 2017 here.

Shortcut http://www.teni.ie/press_release_gender_recognition_amendment_bill_2017_passes_second_stage_in_the_seanad

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