In a press statement headed Shock at Minister decision to defer birth certificate change, trans community organisations have expressed shock at Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin’s decision to defer legislative proposals to introduce an administrative process for changing gender markers on birth certificates.
Ahi Wi-Hongi, National Coordinator of the transgender organisation Gender Minorities Aotearoa, said this issue is not new.
“It is over 11 years since the Human Rights Commission’s Transgender Inquiry called for a simpler process.”
It might surprise Wi-Hongi to learn there was shock in the general community when the public learned what MPs on a select committee had done. They had endorsed proposals not only to allow public records to be changed at the behest of an individual who wanted the change, but to allow these changes to be made without any check on the validity of or justification for an applicant’s request for change.
Those people will commend Martin for saying the government must make sure democratic principles are followed and that more public views will be sought on new clauses in the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill.
These were introduced by the select committee after it had heard submissions on the bill.
The select committee reported on its recommended changes in August last year.
They would allow individuals to change the sex on their birth certificate via an administrative process based on self-identification.
This takes simplified process to an absurd degree and is a substantial change from the current Family Court process that requires evidence of medical treatment.
Martin quite rightly said:
“Given the significance of the changes, there has been inadequate public consultation.”
Politicians and the news media should not misread the political weight of the transgender lobby as they howl their objections to Martin’s decision.
One number worth considering is provided by Wi-Hongi’ press statement:
Passports also include a third gender option (X) which the Bill would finally introduce to birth certificates so identity documents were able to align. At March 2018, there were 552 current passports with an ‘x’ gender marker. Under the current law it is impossible to have a birth certificate that matches an X passport.
New Zealand is reported to have a passport possession rate of around 70% of the population and there are around 2.9 million New Zealand passports in circulation.
The 552 passports with an ‘x’ gender marker is a mere 0.02% of passport holders and – stand by for the shock wave that will buffet MPs at the next election – 0.01% of the total population.
We can only guess at the numbers of transgender people who might one day apply for a passport.
Stats NZ last year aimed “to collect robust data about sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation to contribute to better understanding of society’s diversity and to decision-making”.
According to explanatory notes on what was being considered:
Biological sex refers to a person’s biological sexual characteristics – male, female, or a third category for people whose biological sex is not male or female.
Gender identity is a person’s internal sense of being wholly female, wholly male, or having aspects of female and/or male. A person’s gender identity can be expressed in several ways, and may or may not correspond with the sex recorded at birth.
Sexual orientation covers the ways in which a person’s sexuality are expressed and the terms they choose to identify with. Sexual identities include heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, and asexual, among others.
Until relevant data are collected and published, we are in the dark about numbers .
In the Gender Minorities Aotearoa statement, Wi-Hongi says the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill had been subjected “to standard consultation process and rigorous scrutiny” (but that’s not the way Martin tells it) and the transgender lobby group had confidence the select committee could do it’s job well.
Wi-Hongi proceeds to play the race card. The press statement claims the Treaty of Waitangi protects the right of “whakawahine, tangata ira tane, taahine, and other takataapui” to self-identify. Reference is made to a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal “that the NZ government has failed to uphold our mana”.
Hmm. Point of Order can’t find any mention of those rights in our copy of the treaty.
But wait. There’s more from Wi-Hongi:
“Research very clearly shows that being transgender is a taonga, it’s part of our culture, it’s in our creation stories and we have atua who are transgender. Who is Minister Martin to take away First Nations rights protected by international treaty law?.’’
A prudent Minister, perhaps.
In its statement, Gender Minoritites Aotearoa reiterates its case for having a system so simple that no legal steps need be taken or medical evidence provided in support of an application to change the public record.
If Point of Order properly understands this, it would mean both of our co-editors – should we be so inclined – could declare we now self-identify as women or whatever gender option has been made available and change the public records accordingly.
With the stroke of a pen – shazam! – Bob’s your auntie.
A variant of this has been promoted in Tasmania, where Labor is standing by plans to make the inclusion of gender on birth certificates optional.
A Whaleoil post dealt with this in October last year:
Tasmania is set to become the first state to remove the sex of a child from birth certificates, in a major win for transgender people that has been attacked by critics as “abolishing gender”. End of quote.
The Tasmanian people never voted for this. They were never even asked about, let alone told about this. Like so much of the Cultural Marxist agenda, this nonsense is being foisted on us by creepy activists sidestepping the normal democratic process.Quote:
A vote is expected in Tasmania’s lower house next month, as amendments to a bill ending the need for trans people to divorce before they can change their gender on official documents.
While the bill’s central aim has tripartite support, the Liberal government, Christian groups and feminists fear it has been “hijacked” by the transgender lobby via a series of Labor and Greens amendments.
But polling done for the Liberal Party by EMRS showed strong majority opposition to the birth certificate move in every voter group except for Greens voters, who strongly favoured it.
Respondents were asked: “Do you support or oppose the Labor and Greens proposal before the Tasmanian parliament to remove gender from every newborn child’s birth certificate unless parents opt to have gender included?”
Among all voters, 71% opposed the policy, 21% supported it and 8% were unsure.
Despite the overwhelming public opposition to their proposed amendments to Tasmania’s births, deaths and marriages laws, Labor is pressing ahead.
Martin is showing she is more savvy.
Explaining her decision to defer the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill to deal with problems caused by legislative process, she reportedly noted:
“The Bill began as a simple measure to update the previous legislation and develop new digital and online channels to access births, deaths and marriages information,” says Ms Martin.
“However, significant changes were made to the Bill by the select committee around gender self-identification and this occurred without adequate public consultation. This has created a fundamental legal issue.”
The transgender lobby’s shock may be that Martin has put so much weight on process.
The whole point of their demand is that process be dispensed with and that changes should be made to public records simply on the facile strength of “self-identification”.
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