A lesson in how 0.001pc of the population can nudge MPs into changing the law on gender

Good advice for business leaders and politicians can be found at Stuff today in an article headed don’t pander to the loudest minority.

This advice is particularly relevant for New Zealand First’s Tracey Martin, our Minister of Internal Affairs, and any MP who sees merit in supporting a law change that will enable us  to have our birth certificates declare we are whatever gender we care to be whenever we want to make the switch.

A report from Parliament’s Governance and Administration Committee recommended that people be able to change the nominated sex on their birth certificate to ‘intersex’ or ‘X’ (unspecified) in line with how they self-identify.

The recommendations include removing the current requirement of providing medical evidence which is required by citizens wanting to have their birth certificates changed now.

The current procedure is explained on the Ministry for Justice’s website. It involves making an application to the Family Court for a declaration that the sex on your birth certificate be changed to what you say it should be.

But after considering submissions on the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill, the select committee recommended making things even easier to change information on a birth certificate.

The Human Rights Commission, a champion of this change, welcomed the report, saying the committee had endorsed “a human rights approach in simplifying the process to update sex details on birth certificates”.

“The current process to change the sex ‘marker’ on a birth certificate is lengthy, expensive and requires medical evidence as well as the involvement of the Family Court. The Human Rights Commission and others called for the process to be an administrative change involving a signed signatory declaration.”

And so, once the legislation has been passed, all we will have to do, when we get the urge, is follow a very simple procedure and have our birth certificates changed to affirm that our gender is whatever we want it to be.

Blokes can become sheilas or womxn and sheilas or womxn can become blokes.

A second letter from Speak Up For Women to Tracey Martin weighs in on this absurdity

” … to raise with you further information relating to the ‘self‐ID provisions’ contained in Section 22 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, currently set down for its second reading in Parliament.”

Martin is the Minister of Internal Affairs and is in charge of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill.

Speak Up For Women reminds her that the genesis of the “self‐ID” proposal is Allyson Hamblett’s Petition (2014/0086) signed by …

How many people?

Oh, yes.  a whopping 53.

That’s 0.001 per cent of the population.

Petition 2014/0086 of Allyson Hamblett requested

That the House note that 53 people have signed a petition calling on the Minister of Internal Affairs to enable adults with intersex conditions and trans and other gender diverse adults to change the sex details on any official documentation to male, female or indeterminate based solely on the individual’s self-identification, without any requirement for medical treatment and without the need to resort to a court process.

The Government claims the public had “the opportunity to submit on this Petition.

The public did this – it could be argued – by staying away from the hearing in droves.

The Select Committee considering the Petition in 2017 received submissions only from Ms Hamblett, the Department of Internal Affairs and the Human Rights Commission.

Whether this is merely a measure of profound indifference should not be taken for granted.

The department appeared to have raised concerns about the “wide ranging implications” of self‐ID at this time”.  

Speak Up For Women says it has obtained the original DIA advice on the Petition, which confirms the department did have concerns about self‐ID.

The letter draws Martin’s attention to three significant points:

  1. The DIA did not recommend self‐ID
  2. The DIA did not recommend any amendment to the birth certificate sex provisions of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Amendment Act and considered that existing provisions met international law standards
  3. The DIA noted that in 2006‐8, the Human Rights Commission conducted an in‐depth inquiry into discrimination faced by transgender people. The commission recommended some changes to the birth certificate process, but did not endorse self‐ID. In fact, the commission favoured retention of the Family Court declaration process and medical gatekeeping.

The letter goes on:

“Central to the DIA’s concerns was the identified need to balance the personal interests of transgender people, against the need for certainty and integrity in official documentation. The DIA noted that medical gatekeeping under the existing law had been interpreted broadly in case law, such that gender reassignment surgery is no longer required. This, the DIA said, provides sufficient flexibility to address Ms Hamblett’s concerns.

“The DIA said that self‐ID for birth certificates:

“would have potentially wide‐ranging implications for New Zealand government and society, including at an international level, because it involves core identity information….the Department is not in a position to confirm the government’s support for [self‐ID] or otherwise.”

“Notwithstanding these clearly expressed concerns, the select committee instructed officials to review the Act ‘with a view to amending it to an approach predicated on self‐identification’.”

The letter references findings from a Human Rights Commission inquiry into discrimination faced by transgender people and draws attention to a change in the commission’s position on the legal issues around birth certificates and gender.

And it raises questions about why the Human Rights Commission has reversed its position and now favours self‐ID.

“We note that the DIA clearly shared our concerns about the quality of the Human Rights Commission’s Hamblett submission.

“The DIA criticised the Commission’s characterisation of NZ’s existing law as an ‘outlier’, noting that on an international continuum New Zealand can reasonably be regarded as close to the liberal end.  The DIA also criticised the Commission for providing ‘incomplete information’ and implying that the existing law is interpreted more strictly than it is in fact.

Finally, the DIA noted that the Commission relied on a submission to the UN Human Rights Council (by the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Coalition (“SOGII”)).  As the DIA pointed out, however, the Council did not make any recommendation in relation to this submission: a rather significant point the Commission omitted to mention.”

Speak Up For Women suggests to the Minister the Commission’s current position is poorly reasoned and based on a flawed understanding of its own comprehensive 2008 inquiry.

The letter concludes:

“Both the Department of Internal Affairs in 2017, and the Human Rights Commission in 2008, rejected self‐ID for birth certificates. Both agencies recognised the need to strike a balance between the personal needs of transgender people, and other rights and interests (including those protected by the exemptions under the Human Rights Act). The administrative change that deleted Part 2, Subpart 7 of the Bill as introduced and inserted new clauses 22A ‐22J (the “self‐ID clauses” has not been subject to public consultation.

“We call on you to work with your Parliamentary colleagues on both sides of the House to identify a way to amend the BDMRR Bill perhaps by a supplementary order paper, to protect sex‐based exemptions under the Human Rights Act.”

It is signed by Georgina Blackmore, Spokesperson, Speak Up For Women.

Speak Up for Women’s website contains the full letter and gives pointers to all the source material.

One of the WhaleOil bloggers welcomes the letter and says it seems that the inclusion of the self-ID provisions may have been predetermined by transgender activists in the Labour-led coalition government who have an ideological barrow to push no matter what the cost.

But the eight-person select committee which considered submissions and recommended an easier process for changing birth certification information on gender is chaired by a Nat, Brett Hudson, who is one of its four National Party members.


One thought on “A lesson in how 0.001pc of the population can nudge MPs into changing the law on gender

  1. English female prison guards and Scottish female constables are refusing to do searches of transgendered women because it is purely on self identification. Naturally, some of the criminals that arrested might take liberties with this honour system


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