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Spain’s government approves draft law on transgender rights

A woman hangs rainbow flags on the outside of a restaurant on the first day of the annual LGBT+ pride week in Madrid.
A woman hangs rainbow flags on the outside of a restaurant on the first day of the annual LGBT+ pride week in Madrid. Copyright AP Photo/Paul White
Copyright AP Photo/Paul White
By AP
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The Spanish government has approved the first draft of a bill that would allow citizens over the age of 14 to legally change gender without a medical diagnosis or hormone therapy.

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The Spanish government has passed a draft law that will allow citizens aged over 14 to change their gender without evidence.

Under the proposals, citizens will be able to change their name and gender without the need for proof or witnesses.

The administrative procedure will also do away with health reports and the need for medical and legal guardianship.

The proposed law by the Socialist government is intended to improve rights for transgender citizens in Spain.

"With this bill, we intend to overcome this historical invisibility, stigmatisation, and lack of recognition of the rights of LGTB+ people," said the government spokesperson, María Jesús Montero.

The draft law still requires approval from Spain's parliament and the terms of the legislation could change.

But if the law prevails, Spain would join a handful group of countries around the world allowing gender self-determination without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or by imposing physical conformity with one’s gender identity.

It would also make the changes in the official registry faster than in most countries -- up to four months from the first application to the change finally appearing in official documents.

The proposal has received some opposition from Spain's feminist movement, which argues the draft law blurs the concept of biological sex.

Meanwhile, activists and families of transgender children say the law does not go far enough, as citizens aged between 14 and 16 would still require parental consent under the draft law.

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