A motion has been passed at the second Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) council of the year to campaign for improvements to the current Gender Recognition Act. It was felt by Council that the current Act is outdated.
The current Gender Recognition Act allows people over 18 to self-declare their own gender identity. As highlighted at Council, however, it does not mention the position of non-binary and intersex with Irish law, nor does it allow those under 18 to self-determine their gender. Council voted to lobby the government to remove this barrier to to gender recognition, as well as recognise those who do not identify as strictly male or female.
It was argued at Council that these updates to the Act would protect the human and civil rights of all people without the requirement of any medical criteria.
Speaking at Council, LGBT+ Rights Officer, Noah O’Brien, proposed the motion and spoke in its favor at Council. They stated that: “It is so unfair to expect people to be forced to live in an inauthentic way.” Kevin Keane seconded the motion. Nobody spoke against it.
The Gender Recognition Act, which was passed in 2015, is currently under review. Executive director of BeLonGTo, a national organisation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) young people, Moninne Griffith, is chairing the review.
An amendment to the Act was presented by Sinn Fein TD Fintan Warfield in May, which would alter the Act to remove the currentprocess for young people between 16 and 17 to receive gender recognition and allow them to self-declare their gender identity. It would also allow those under 16 to receive gender recognition with approval from a guardian, and recognise non-binary people. In May, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Seanad that the review of the Act would be presented to the Oireachtas no later than September 2018.
Trinity senator David Norris co-sponsored the amendment and stated that it would be progressive and forward-looking.