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CNA Newsroom, Feb 17, 2023 / 16:15 pm (CNA).
After its passage in the Senate, Spain’s lower house passed the Law for the Real and Effective Equality of Trans Persons and for the Guarantee of LGTBI Rights, which will allow transgender genital surgery and hormonal treatments from the age of 16 without parental consent.
Known simply as the Trans Law, it was pushed by the socialist-communist ruling coalition with the backing of LGTBI pressure groups (lesbians, gays, transsexuals, bisexuals, and intersex). The law passed the Congress of Deputies despite opposition from advisory bodies during the legislative process.
Both the Council of State and the General Council of the Judiciary strongly opposed some of the provisions of the law, especially with regard to the lack of protection for minors.
Prior to the passage of this national law, autonomous regional governments had passed laws on these matters beginning in 2009.
Change of sex in the civil registry upon request
The Trans Law passed yesterday establishes the possibility of changing one’s name and sex in the civil registry at the request of the person from the age of 16.
Between the ages of 14 and 16, this change requires the consent of the parents or legal guardians. In case of discrepancies, a judge may intervene.
To make these changes on the national ID card, children between 12 and 14 years of age must have judicial authorization.
Before the age of 12, the civil registry cannot be changed, although the law stipulates that minors must be treated in their various environments in accordance with their expressed sexual identity.
In any case, the need to present a medical or psychological report that supports the consistency of a self-perception divergent from the natural state of each individual has been eliminated.
Until now, it was also necessary to verify that the person had been taking hormones for a significant period of time to block normal sexual development.
The process to make a change in the civil registry can take a maximum of four months and can be reversed when six months have passed since the request was made.
Sex change for minors
Regarding the processes of surgical simulation of genital organs, the law enjoins the general precaution that it is not available to children under 12 years of age, but there is an exception to this principle in the event that “medical indications require otherwise in order to protect the person’s health.”
For children between 12 and 16 years old, the law establishes that a sufficient degree of maturity must be ascertained. After that age, parental consent is not required.
The Trans Law prohibits any form of professional or informal counseling, even at the request of the interested party, which involves reversing the process of changing one’s natural sex.
It also facilitates the access of LGTBI people to assisted reproduction treatments and allows the filiation of children to a lesbian couple without their having to have a civil marriage.
The law also introduces the condition of being a “sexile,” in reference to cases where LGTBI people leave their place of residence due to social discrimination.
The legislative process has divided the feminist groups. This division even led to scuttling the first attempt to pass this law in 2021.
Some feminists criticized the possibility that men accused of crimes against women could declare themselves female to obtain legal and even prison benefits.
Concerns have also been raised that men could enter women’s sports competitions claiming to be women, creating unequal conditions given the natural constitution of men compared with women.
Various bishops have spoken out in recent months against the provisions of the Trans Law.
Last December, the bishop of Orihuela-Alicante, José Ignacio Munilla, spoke ironically about the the law, saying: “Weren’t we scientists? How is it possible that we now override genetics completely? To hell with the fascist chromosomes! The chromosomes are not going to tell me what I am,” he said.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.