Spain’s lower house of parliament approves new transgender and equal rights law

CONGRESS in Madrid passed a law on Thursday that allows people over 16 years of age to change their legally registered gender without any medical supervision.

The measure as part of a new equal rights act still needs to be ratified by the upper house, the Senate, before hitting the statute book.

Equality Minister, Irene Montero said was proud of Congress for saying that ‘trans rights are human rights’.

Previously transgender people needed a diagnosis by several doctors of gender dysphoria, which is the psychological condition of not feeling a match between one’s biological sex and gender identity.

In some cases, they also needed proof they had been living for two years as the gender they identified with — or even records showing they had taken hormones.

Children aged 12 or 13 will need legal approval to make a change, while those between 14 and 16 will have to be accompanied by their parents or guardians.

The law also bans conversion therapies to suppress sexual orientation or gender identity.

It also scraps a ban on lesbian couples registering their children under both parents’ names.

The bill had been spear-headed by the far-left Podemos party- including Irene Montero- who are in coalition with the PSOE socialists led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

The measure has divided feminist movements in Spain with opponents warning it could erode women’s rights.

Former deputy Prime Minister under Sanchez, Carmen Calvo, said: “When gender is asserted over biological sex, it does not seem to me to be a step forward in a progressive direction; it seems to be a step backwards.”

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