Sunday, July 3

The legal sex change of minors centers the final stretch of the negotiations to approve the Trans Pride Law

The Trans and LGTBI Law, which will finally be merged into a single legal text, is on its way to the Council of Ministers. The Government has unlocked the rule, stalled for months, in which it assumes the gender self-determination of trans people: they will be able to change their legal sex from the age of 16 without requirements or tests, and the chosen formula will make them reaffirm their request after three months before the Civil Registry. Having overcome the main obstacle that has tensed the PSOE and United We Can during the last year, there are still some loose fringes to approve the text predictably on June 29, in the middle of the week of LGTBI Pride. The draft known on Saturday is not yet final, the talks continue and, according to sources from the negotiation, one of the issues being discussed is that of minors.

“I spent a lot of years fighting who I am; now I’m happy”

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Currently the draft of the Draft project for the real and effective equality of trans people and for the guarantee of the rights of LGTBI people It contemplates three scenarios for them: minors under 12 may not change their legal sex, between 12 and 14 will require judicial authorization and those between 14 and 16 must be “assisted” by their legal representatives. The current wording differs considerably from the proposal made by Equality in the draft law that was made public in February and from which the socialist part of the Government was unchecked: there was no age limit; Between 12 and 16 years old, they could request a legal sex change with the consent of their legal representatives and below that age, the request had to be submitted by the latter.

It is also one of the main demands of the LGTBI and Trans groups. The State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans and Bisexuals (FELGTB), Fundación Triángulo and Chrysallis, which have played a decisive role in the progress of the negotiations, see at this point “room for improvement” of the text and have raised these days to the Ministry of Equality, Justice and the first vice presidency of the Government “proposals” to extend the change of legal sex to all minors. “We are constantly working [con los tres departamentos], there’s a feedback continuous “, they have explained in a press conference in which they have celebrated the norm as” the first step so that the rights of the collective begin their journey. “For its part, the feminist sector that is opposed to self-determination has called mobilizations next Saturday in different parts of Spain.

LGTBI organizations have been confident that the negotiations against the clock will bear fruit these days. “Denying the identity of our childhood is denying it its right to be, to exist and to live fully,” affirmed Ana Valenzuela, president of the Chrysallis Association of families of trans children. “It is also one of the demands of trans collectives such as the Platform Federation. Trans, No Binaries Spain, and the associations of relatives of minors Euforia, Arelas and Naizen, who have also indicated this Monday what their discrepancies are with the text. They consider that not doing so is a “setback” that affects the “most vulnerable part “of the trans population and allege that it could be” unconstitutional “after the sentence issued by the Constitutional Court in 2019 that declared contrary to the Magna Carta the exclusion of the legal sex change of boys and girls “with sufficient maturity” and “in a stable situation of transsexuality.”

In his opinion, requiring that between 14 and 16 years of age present “supporting documentary or testimony” to obtain judicial authorization that allows them to rectify their sex in the registry, as contemplated in the draft, is “extremely violent” and “discriminatory” According to Natalia Aventín, president of Euforia and the mother of the minor who took her case before the Constitutional Court. It is something that FELGTB, Triángulo and Chrysallis share: “It means subjecting them to humiliating and stressful situations that affect their dignity,” added Valenzuela.

One of the most controversial points

That of childhood has been one of the points that has raised the most friction both within the negotiations and in the sectors that position themselves against gender self-determination, including a part of the feminist movement. In fact, as the groups have explained, there was “a situation of resistance” and the first proposal of the Ministry of Justice was that the legal sex change could not be carried out below 14 years, something that “we managed to reduce to 12”, have said at the press conference. What is not in the text at the moment are hormonal treatments for minors, another of the controversial points that the initial draft of Equality did contemplate and that already recognize more than a dozen regional laws.

Sources of the negotiation assure that the conversations these days are also dealing with the inclusion of these treatments in the portfolio of common services of the National Health System with the aim that those who want to access them can do so regardless of the community in which reside. For minors, the Equality draft stated that they could give consent from the age of 16, and before, as for any medical intervention and as occurs in the autonomies that already regulate it, the consent of the legal representatives was necessary.

The recognition of non-binary people, those who do not identify themselves as men or women and whose references have disappeared from the text, is also still on the table, explain the same sources: at the moment, the latest draft that the Government manages does not It neither allows omitting the mention of sex in official documents nor does it mandate the Executive so that within one year it evaluates the possibilities of recognizing non-binary gender.

Also on the air is the regulation of intra-gender violence, which occurs within relationships between people of the same sex, and which did include the initial text prepared by Equality. A chapter of the law was dedicated to the assistance and protection of these victims and those of violence based on LGTBIphobia in general. And for them, he pointed out that Public Administrations should guarantee “comprehensive and specialized care” with, at least, information on rights and available resources, psychological assistance and legal guidance.

An advance for LGTBI groups, opposition in a sector of feminism

For their part, feminist organizations that have been critical of the Trans Law have shown their disagreement with the agreement and call for a demonstration on June 26 in different parts of Spain. They consider that the laws, also the autonomous ones already approved, “violate the rights of women and children” and assure that the Ministry of Equality “has ignored and despised the feminist movement promoting laws against women” and “in the face of inaction an accomplice of the presidency of the Government “, points out the Confluence Feminist Movement in the manifesto. Socialist feminists such as the philosopher Amelia Valcárcel or the former deputy Ángeles Álvarez signed a statement a few days ago in which they positioned themselves against the agreement due to “the consequences that may arise from granting legal nature to the free determination of sex by simple declaration”. something that in his opinion would not prevent the initial proposal of the PSOE to “prove” it by means of witnesses.

LGTBI organizations have celebrated that the norm advances and that although gender self-determination is not named as a concept in the text, in practice this red line has been maintained. And they trust in the changes that can be made beyond the final stretch of these negotiations, specifically in Congress and the Senate, where the law will arrive after completing its process in the Government. The strategies to try to unblock the draft have differed between the groups in recent months. From FELGTB, Triángulo and Chrysallis appeal “to dialogue” and to “agreement between the parties”, which is the intention that, they say, they have maintained in recent months in the meetings. In fact, the meeting held in Moncloa with representatives of Justice and the first vice presidency on June 7 was key in the unblocking process.

On the other hand, the Trans Platform Federation considers that socialists will be considered “un gratos” in Pride if the exclusion of minors, migrants and non-binary people is maintained. It was this organization that threatened to “veto” the PSOE in the demonstrations if they did not accept gender self-determination, and the one that urged different political groups to register the Trans Law in Congress that finally brought down thanks to the PP’s ‘no’ and Vox and the abstention of Pedro Sánchez’s party. In recent weeks, and due to fear in the socialist ranks of an adverse reaction to the party in the most prominent mobilization for the LGTBI collective of the year, the negotiations that have led to the agreement have intensified.