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New Zealand moves closer to passing 'self-identification' law

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By Reuters
New Zealand moves closer to passing 'self-identification' law
New Zealand moves closer to passing 'self-identification' law   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p><span class="caps">WELLINGTON</span> – New Zealand progressed with its plans to make it easier to change a person’s sex on their birth certificate on Wednesday as legislation moved through parliament with support from all political parties.</p> <p>The self-identification bill was introduced to ensure New Zealand has the best process for transgender, non-binary and intersex people to formally acknowledge their gender, the government said in a statement, after the bill had its second reading in parliament on Wednesday.</p> <p>“There has been strong, ongoing public interest in this Bill and I am excited to see it moving towards becoming law. I look forward to hearing from everyone interested in the proposals,” Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti said in a statement.</p> <p>The bill will now go back to a parliamentary select committee and receive public feedback.</p> <p>The legal procedure to change one’s sex on a birth certificate in New Zealand is long and complex. The new laws will make it easier to make such updates without the convoluted court process.</p> <p>The bill had its first hearing in 2019, but had made little progress since. </p> <p>Self-identification was introduced to the bill by the select committee in 2018 in response to a petition it received. Tinetti has proposed improvements to the self-identification process.</p> <p>“As the Minister of Internal Affairs it upsets me to know information provided on a birth certificate can be a cause of such stress for so many people. It’s important that we get this right for all New Zealanders,” Tinetti said.</p> <p>Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last year appointed the country’s most inclusive parliament ever, with several people of colour, members from the rainbow communities and a large number of women.</p> <p>The government also introduced legislation last month that outlaws practices intended to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, known as <span class="caps">LGBT</span> conversion therapy. </p> <p/> </div>