Australian laws barring married transgender people from changing the sex on their birth certificate are in violation of international human rights law, a United Nations committee has declared.
In a decision made on March 17 and published on June 15, the UN Human Rights Committee found in favour of a married transgender woman from New South Wales, Australia, who had tried unsuccessfully on multiple occasions to change the sex on her birth certificate.
The laws preventing her from doing so violate the rights outlined in articles 17 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the committee found.
It is a significant ruling for Australia, where in six of the eight states and territories married transgender people must divorce from their spouse if they want to change the sex listed on their birth certificate.
In its ruling the UN committee said there was "no apparent reason" to deny G her birth certificate change, and identified a number of inconsistencies presented by Australian law around marriage and gender transition.
"The author was validly married in Australia," the decision read. "Following her gender reassignment, she lawfully has been issued passports designating her as female and changed her name on, inter alia, her birth certificate, passport, driver’s licence, and medicare card.
"It is also uncontested that as a result of her gender reassignment, the author has lived on a day to day basis in a loving, married relationship with a female spouse that [Australia] has recognised in all respects as valid. There is no apparent reason for refusing to conform the author’s birth certificate to this lawful reality." Read more via Buzzfeed