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Argentina approves ground-breaking gender identity law

Argentina approves ground-breaking gender identity law

Any adult in Argentina will now be able to legally change their gender without approval from doctors or judges.

The law passed by the Argentine senate today by 55 votes in favour, one abstention and none in opposition will give people the right to officially change identity without anyone else’s consent and give them access to surgery as a part of the ‘Obligiatory Medical Plan’ offered by private and public healthcare. President Cristina Fernandez, who has been supportive of the issue, now needs to sign the law.

‘Tonight we are really happy, really proud of our movement and our allies, and ready to make this law work to change our reality,’ said Mauro Cabral from Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE) who campaigned for the law. ‘It’s a law grounded in the right to identity, establishing informed consent as the best practice for trans access to health.’

In most parts of the world patients need approval from doctors, counsellors and even judges before they undergo gender reassignment surgery.

‘It’s saying you can change your gender legally without having to change your body at all. That’s unheard of,’ Katrina Karkazis, a Stanford University medical anthropologist and bioethicist, told First Post. ‘This gives the individual an extraordinary amount of authority for how they want to live. It’s really incredible.’

Children under the age of 18 who want to change their gender can with approval from their legal guardian. If their legal guardian wants them to change gender but the child doesn’t, a judge will intervene to protect the child’s rights.

‘This isn’t going to create a huge demand on the national health system for these procedures,’ Karkazis continued. ‘They’re difficult, painful, irreversible. And this is why many people don’t do it.’

Watch an advert for the transgender rights bill in Argentina here: