Oz Human Rights Commission wants official status for third intersex gender

December 6th, 2008 - 4:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 6 (ANI): The Aussie Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, which is the Federal Government’’s human rights arm, is looking into getting a new official status called intersex legalised.

The new status would be equally recognized legally with the male and female gender, and it would enable people to change their gender on passports and driving licences even if they do not undergo surgery.

But for transgender lobby groups, intersex is not a term that they are satisfied with and are demanding a fourth legal gender called other, which is for people who feel they do not fit into any gender.

The proposals listed in a discussion paper are quietly being issued to transgender and transsexual advocates by the commission, a statutory body that advises the Government on such matters.

The paper is entitled Sex Files - The legal recognition of sex: Proposed reform, with the new intersex gender listed as a key feature of the reform proposal being developed by the commission.

Recognition of intersex: Persons who cannot or do not identify as either male or female would be able to choose to be identified on their birth certificate and passport as intersex, it stated.

A person who cannot or chooses not to undergo surgery would not be automatically ineligible to request a change in their legal sex, it said.

A response to the report by Sex and Gender Education Australia says there needs to be a fourth legal gender for people who are not even intersex.

SAGE spokeswoman Tracie O”Keefe, a sexologist whose doctorate comes from a Californian hypnotherapy institute, and who is the co-author of the book Transpeople in Love, feels that a fourth gender would be good.

The AHRC proposal does not go far enough in providing legal status and social spaces by only allowing people to be male, female and intersex, News.com.au quoted her as saying.

Dr O”Keefe, who runs the Australian Health and Education Centre and the International Sex, Gender and Sexuality Clinic in Glebe, said cultures such as Native Americans had more than two genders. (ANI)

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