Green Party rainbow spokesperson Jan Logie has accused the New Zealand government of extending the suffering of transgender people by delaying a law that will allow them to correct their gender on official documents.
The Citizen Amendment Bill was first introduced in October 2010 but in July the government said they would add articles to allow the paperwork of transgender New Zealanders to reflect their gender.
Minister of Internal Affairs, Chris Tremain, now says that there is no timeline for that work to be done, Voxy.co.nz reports.
‘This may not be a high priority for the Minister but for transgender people, putting this Bill on the backburner is heart-breaking,’ said Logie.
‘Without paperwork that matches their gender, every time people have to interact with government is a hugely stressful experience.
‘These people deserve to hear from Minister Chris Tremain about a timeline for this legislative change that would make a huge positive difference to their lives.’
Last month Logie said comments from National MP Maggie Barry that described trans issues as fringe were ‘offensive’.
While accusing the Green Party of neglecting environmental issues, Barry said in parliament, ‘What’s your favourite Ms Logie? Ahh … sex change people going into prisons. There’s been a lot of talk of these "fringe" issues.’
In response, Logie said to GayNZ.com:
‘To reduce my questions about the state’s responsibility to protect transgender prisoners from sexual assault to a "fringe issue" is just offensive.
‘I am proud to stand up for the human rights of all New Zealanders, especially the most marginalized. I see this as a core Green value.’