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Is the Gender Bill Paternalistic?

Gender Bill

Is the Gender Bill Paternalistic?

The Gender recognition Bill has been described as “a form of Irish solution to an Irish problem, with the State adopting a “Paternalistic approach.” Fianna Fail Social Protection spokesman Willie O’Dea said “We certainly can’t state that it is based on international best practice”.  “We have deliberately placed ourselves behind some of the legislative advantages that have been made in light of the experience elsewhere in the world”.  The legislation acknowledges the identity of transgender people.  The Minister of State Kevin Humphreys introduced the Bill in the Dail after it had gone through the Seanad.  He said that he was proud to bring in legislation which would enable the rights of transgender people.

He said he admired Dr Lydia Foy whose prolonged legal battle brought about the legislation.  He said her “unstinting efforts over many years have played a crucial part in bringing us to this point”. He said the “Fundamental concept of the Bill was that a gender recognition certificate a person’s “preferred gender will be formally and legally recognised for all purposes.”  The Minister stated “For many transgender people their birth certificate is the last remaining personal document that does not show their preferred gender.  This legislation enables them to obtain a birth certificate showing their preferred gender”.

It is this writer’s opinion that the legislation will be beneficial for transgender people. Willie O’Dea says that the legislation will acknowledge the identity of transgender people. I support his opinion and I welcome this legislation wholeheartedly.  I remember when transgender woman, Dr Lydia Foy was going through her 21 year legal battle against the State to secure a birth certificate as a woman.  I have the utmost respect for this woman to speak up for her rights and the rights of transgender people. Society have ridiculed and ostracized them.     Transgender people have been suffering in silence for too long.  It is about time the Government is going to formally recognise their need to be seen as their preferred gender.

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