Monday, May 14, 2012

Argentine Senators Back Breakthrough Gender Identity Law

In last Thursday’s “Daily Headlines” we mentioned that Argentina’s Senate easily approved a “dignified death” law. Yet this important proposal was overshadowed by another bill overwhelmingly backed during the same legislative session last week.

By a 55-0 vote the Senate passed a proposal that grants increased rights to transgender individuals. One of the items in the new Law of Gender Identity allows Argentina to become the world’s first country to allow people to change their legal gender without being obligated to first undergo judicial, psychiatric and medical procedures.

Justus Eisfeld, co-director of Global Action for Trans Equality in New York, told the AP that the new law “is a real game changer and completely unique in the world. It is light years ahead of the vast majority of countries, including the U.S., and significantly ahead of even the most advanced countries.”

Local human rights groups as well as the LGBT community celebrated the new law. As noted in Global Voices Online, however, the bishop of the Diocese of Jujuy was not pleased with the Senate’s actions. “Identity is given from the sex that we receive and from the identity that we take from our mother's womb,” said Daniel Fernández before the law was approved.

The following video is a public service announcement released earlier this year in favor of the gender rights law. Among those interviewed was transgender rights activist Claudia Pía Baudracco who died last March.

Argentina was the first nation in Latin America to pass a comprehensive marriage equality law in 2010.

Other countries in the region have made great strides to improve the rights for the LGBT community. Same-sex couples are “a constitutive form of family” according to part of a recent ruling made by Colombia’s Constitutional Court.

(Video hat tip: Blabbeando).

Video Source – YouTube via Blabbeando

Online Sources – The Latin Americanist, NPR, Fox News Latino, Blabbeando, BBC Mundo, Global Voices Online

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