Argentine Chamber of Deputies approves Gender Identity Law

Published: December 1, 2011

Last night, Argentina took one step closer in becoming the first country in Latin America to legally recognize transgender people’s right to their gender identity. During the last regular session of the year, the Argentine Chamber of Deputies approved the “Gender Identity Law” by a vote of 167-17 (with 7 abstentions).

“We can’t believe that the margin with which [the bill] has been approved had been so broad, and that all political blocs had accompanied the project, ” said Marcela Romero, president of the Argentine Association of Trans* People (ATTTA) and Secretary General of the Argentine Federation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans people (FALGBT).

Introduced earlier this year and approved by a joint meeting of the General Legislation and Justice committees in early November, this bill simplifies the process of name and gender change on all governmental documentation, requiring only a request to the National Register of Persons. In the case of trans youth, however, requests for changes in documentation must be made through their legal guardians should they be under the age of 18.

What separates this bill from other laws of its kind in Latin America and in the rest of the world is that there is no requirement for medical, psychiatric, or surgical intervention in order for a person to correct the gender marker on their documents.

Additionally, the Gender Identity Law would guarantee that trans people be granted access to vital and gender-affirming health services, including full or partial surgical interventions and hormone replacement therapies.

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