The Palaszczuk Government in Queensland has committed to changing the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 2003 so that people who undergo gender reassignment will not have to divorce their partner.
Section 22 of the Act currently states “The reassignment of a person’s sex after sexual reassignment surgery may be noted in the person’s entry in the register of births or adopted children register only if the person is not married” [emphasis added]. Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath introduced the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2018 into Parliament on 7 March 2018. It will be amended to remove the requirement that a person not be married.
Further, as at 9 December 2018, the exemption in the Sex Discrimination Act from anti-discrimination law in relation to a refusal to alter a person’s sex on an official record because the person is married where it is in accordance with state and territory laws will be repealed.
Some members of the community have held this requirement as a choice between their identity and their marriage. With same-sex marriage being legalised in December 2017, this move has come to reflect both the legal and social landscape of Australia.