New Zealand Passes Bill Allowing Easier Gender Change on Birth Certificates

The New Zealand Parliament has unanimously passed the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill on Thursday, which would make it easier for people to change their birth certificates in a simple process without going through the Family Court.

Rainbow community advocate Green Party MP Dr. Elizabeth Kerekere was emotional while speaking in support of the Bill in the House.

“This bill recognizes that those who need to amend their birth certificate can do so, that the courts do not have the right to make that choice for them, that parents do not have that right, that cis-gender person who doesn’t even know them or care about them do not have that right,” Kerekere said.

Meanwhile, National Party spokeswoman for women Nicola Grigg said few bills had had such a “complicated” passage through the House, but this Bill, having gone through thorough debates, is in a much better state than in 2017.

Grigg also said that she understood the concerns of those who felt the change could diminish the status of women in society.

“All this is doing is modernizing the process, it was a dated Act, and this shifts it in the right direction,” Grigg added.

The self-identification provisions would take effect in 18 months.

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