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February 26, 2018 | by  | in News |
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VUWSA Submits on the Births, Deaths, Marriages Bill

VUWSA has unanimously voted to make a submission, in consultation with UniQ, on the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill which is currently at the select committee stage. This bill seeks to reform the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995.

VUWSA’s submission to the Bill asks that it include an amendment to simplify the process of changing a person’s sex on official documents. VUWSA President Marlon Drake commented: “it’s cool to have a social conscience to the things we do”.

Currently, the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995  requires a person who wishes to change the gender on their birth certificate to go to the Family Court and undergo a medical evaluation that will determine whether the applicant is sufficiently of “the opposite sex”. VUWSA wishes to submit that the law changes so trans, intersex, and gender diverse adults can change the sex on their birth certificate based solely on the individual’s self-identification.

The Human Rights Commission has criticized the 1995 Act as outdated, recommending that gender reassignment surgery is not objective proof of someone’s sex.

The Bill as it sits currently proposes two main changes to the 1995 Act. Firstly, it proposes changes to access provisions in the Act to allow people to look up their birth, death, marriage, and relationship information online using their verified RealMe ID. Secondly, the Bill requires health professionals responsible for writing up death certificates to also write preliminary notices of death, and for the person who disposes of a body to write a death notice no more than three working days after the body is disposed.

Submissions on the bill close on the 2 March 2018.

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