“Transgender law” passed in Spain

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“Transgender law” passed in Spain

Historic Legislation Passed by Spanish Parliament

The Spanish Parliament has enacted a significant law that simplifies the process of legally changing one’s gender, marking a significant moment in legislative history. According to Equality Minister Irene Montero, who was featured discussing the law initially, “This law rectifies a long-standing national debt towards transgender individuals by depathologizing their lives.” The regulation, officially adopted on Thursday, February 16th, positions Spain as one of the few European countries to recognize gender self-determination, following Denmark’s lead in 2014.

Details of the New Transgender Law

Developed by the far-left Podemos party, a coalition partner in Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government, the “transgender law” allows transgender individuals to amend their name and gender on official documents through a simple administrative appointment, eliminating the current requirements for medical reports or evidence of two years of hormone treatment for adults.

Furthermore, the law introduces provisions for minors: those aged between 14 and 16 can change their gender with legal guardian consent, while those aged 12 to 14 will need judicial approval. Previously, all minors required court approval. A three-month reflection period from application to confirmation has been instituted to ensure the decision’s gravity is fully considered.

Political and Social Impact

The legislation has sparked a divide within Spanish politics and the feminist movement. Podemos championed the bill as a cornerstone of its political agenda, demanding swift passage, whereas the Socialist Party sought amendments without success, leading to internal conflicts. The disagreement extended into the feminist community, split between supporters of Minister Montero and traditional feminists who argue the law prioritizes gender over biological sex, a stance criticized by former government official Carmen Calvo.

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Despite opposition, the bill was passed, demonstrating a significant shift in societal and political attitudes towards gender identity in Spain. Transgender activist Carla Antonelli, who left the Socialist Party in protest of its stance on the legislation, highlights the transition from supporting transgender rights to outright hostility within parts of the political and feminist spheres.

By approving this measure, Spain joins a select group of nations that permit gender self-determination through a straightforward administrative declaration, mirroring Denmark’s pioneering approach from 2014. This law is seen as a progressive step towards recognizing and validating the identities of transgender individuals without the burden of medical proof or legal hurdles.

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