Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton is to address a major international transsexual rights conference in Dublin next month.
The conference is sponsored by Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and TENI Director Broden Giambrone said that the event “provides an ideal platform for activists to share experiences, resources and best practice”.
The conference will bring together groups belonging to Transgender Europe which is a network of campaigning organisations throughout Europe affiliated to the United Nations, the European Parliament and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Government is committed to introducing legislation to allow those who believe they were born into the wrong sex to alter official documents. This follows a 2007 High Court ruling which said that Ireland's failure to allow such people to change these documents was in breach of their human rights.
The Government's proposed legislation – adapted from the last Government - would require applicants to have lived with their preferred gender for at least two years.
If applicants can provide a formal medical diagnosis of their condition they do not have to undergo a ‘sex change’ operation, meaning they would not have to have the sexual organs of the sex into which they were born removed.
Other countries have different requirements. For example, Germany requires that a person undergo a sex change operation before their official documentation will be changed.
The proposed Irish law will be modeled on the UK law which is among the most liberal in Europe.