The Victorian Government's Taskforce for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Victorians' LGBTI Justice Working Group 2015-17 held its sixth meeting on 8 August 2016.
The Working Group was joined by the Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, Rowena Allen, as well as Brenda Appleton and Jamie Gardiner from the Taskforce.
Specific topics considered
The Justice Working Group discussed a number of matters including proposed reforms to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 to remove barriers for trans, gender diverse and intersex Victorians to apply for new birth certificates, and the proposed plebiscite on same sex marriage.
The Justice Working Group welcomed the proposed reforms to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, which would enable more adults who want to alter their recorded sex to do so without having to undergo invasive surgery or forsake their legal relationship with their spouse, and enables children to have a birth certificate that reflects their affirmed gender. Sufficient safeguards are included in the proposed reforms to preserve the integrity of the Register of Births.
The Working Group discussed ways in which the proposed reforms to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act, could be communicated to the trans, gender diverse and intersex communities given the important role the reforms will play in recognising the inherent dignity and autonomy of a person applying for a new birth certificate that is most appropriate and meaningful to them and that promotes the right to equality.
The Working Group considered issues relating to searches by police of trans, gender diverse and intersex people, including the ability for a person being searched to elect the gender of the person searching them.
The Justice Working Group also discussed the proposed plebiscite on same sex marriage and emphasised the importance of providing additional mental health support for LGBTI adults, children, and their families to counter some of the negative publicity likely to be generated by the plebiscite.
The Justice Working Group will reconvene for its next meeting on 17 October 2016.