New Zealand passes law allowing change of sex in birth certificates

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New Zealand has passed a law that will allow people to change the sex recorded on their birth certificate, the government announced on Thursday.

The new law will mean New Zealanders will no longer require proof of medical treatment or need to persuade a court to have the sex on their birth certificate match the gender they know themselves to be, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti said.

“Today is a proud day in Aotearoa’s, New Zealand’s history. Parliament has voted in favour of inclusivity and against discrimination.

“The changes will also support young people to make their own decisions about how they are identified on their birth certificates.

“It gives them agency over their identity, which will promote their mental health and sense of wellbeing,” she said.

According to her, New Zealanders who are born overseas will be ineligible as the changes only apply to the country’s birth certificates at this stage.

She said work will be done to address this, starting with further consultation with those affected.

“This will only further strengthen the milestone we have achieved today.

“The law will come into force in 18 months’ time to give the government time to consult with the rainbow community and to ensure the legislation works to support the people at its heart,”’ Tinetti said. 

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