Protest On Anniversary Of Transgender Rights Bill Deferral
One year since the deferral of the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, a protest will be held in Auckland to mark the anniversary and demand action on transgender, nonbinary, and intersex rights.
“We believe the government has capitulated to campaigns of hate and misinformation by groups that want to undermine transgender rights,” says event organiser Eva Allan.
The effect of the bill would allow for people to change the gender markers on their birth certificates as easily as they would be able to on other forms of identification.
“The current processes to change gender markers on birth certificates are long, costly, and humiliating.”
Mismatched identification records can be a significant barrier to healthcare, housing and shelter, jobs and income. Trans women are also routinely placed in men’s prisons, in accordance with their birth certificates, where they are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse and harrassment.
The bill faced strong opposition from anti-transgender and conservative lobby groups.
“These groups have wilfully spread misinformation, drumming up fear and hatred towards transgender people based on homophobic and transphobic stereotypes,” says Allan. “We believe this is what led to this crucial piece of transgender rights legislation being deferred by NZ First Minister Tracey Martin.”
In 2019, the Justice Committee abandoned efforts to ban conversion therapy, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying it would impinge on “religious freedom.”
“The government came into power promising transformative change. Labour and NZ First MPs have marched in pride parades and paid lip service to our community, but when it comes to taking meaningful action on LGBTI+ rights, they’ve caved to forces of bigotry and reaction.”
“These policies are not abstract for us. These are our human rights sitting at the bottom of a to do pile, and we’re sick of waiting! The government needs to take action.”
The protest will be held at Jacinda Ardern’s offices in Sandringham, today at 12pm.