Wednesday, May 07, 2014

High Court of Australia Recognizes 3rd Sex Category (Neither Male Nor Female)

Interesting and important news out of Australia relating to LGBT people. Apparently the High Court of Australia ruled just over a month ago that a person does NOT have to be registered by the state as either male or female, but can be listed as a 3rd "non-specific" sex by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Australia Broadcasting Corporation reported the news:
A Sydney resident who fought to be legally recognised as being of non-specific sex has hailed a High Court ruling that New South Wales laws do permit the registration of a category of sex other than male or female. 
Norrie was born male but had a sex change and now does not identify as specifically male or female. 
After a four-year legal battle, Norrie has won the right to be legally recognised as being of non-specific sex. 
Norrie, who had been quietly confident of winning the case, says the historic verdict is a big win for the wider transgender community. 
"I screamed a squeal of delight. Very loudly. It's very thrilling, very exciting," Norrie said. 
"I'm overjoyed that it has happened. It's important for people to have equal rights in society and if some people are granted the right to have their sex and certain benefits that go along with that, then why shouldn't everyone have that right? 
"Why should people be left out because they're not seen as male or female? They should be recognised as whatever they are and allowed to participate in society at an equal level."
This is a great development, and following a similar ruling by the India High Court in the last month is an indication that the idea that sex and gender are not binary phenomena is starting to gain traction among the international judiciary.

One reason why this is important for LGBT people is because the primary mechanism by which gender and sex roles are maintained and regulated is through the imputation of homosexuality. One primary example of where gender registrations are directly related to the rights and responsibilities of citizens is in the context of marriage. Thus the fact that more and more countries are recognizing
the true nature of gender and sex is exciting. 

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