Australian State to Ban Gender from Birth Certificates to 'Protect Transgenders'
Vote in Tasmania's lower house expected to approve bill amendment
Tasmania in Australia is due to pass a bill that will abolish the use of gender identification on birth certificates in a bid to "protect transgender citizens" from having their birth gender "outed."
Campaigners pushing for the change in the Australian island state claim that having a person's gender listed on the document exposes the born gender of trans people in situations such as job interviews or gym applications.
A vote is scheduled in Tasmania's lower house next month and is expected to pass following backing from Labor and the Greens parties coalition.
The move is welcomed by transgender activists who say the change is "beneficial" to trans people.
The amendment has caused outrage among Christian groups and feminists, however, who fear the bill has been "hijacked" by the transgender lobby through a series of Labor and Greens amendments.
Non-trans citizens who oppose the bill now feel they are losing their rights to identify themselves as male or female.
According to the Daily Mail, both Labor and the Greens amendments want to remove gender from birth certificates.
Further amendments include removing the need for trans people to have sex-change surgery before switching gender on official documents, The Australian reported.
Premier Will Hodgman and his government are relying on the support of Speaker Sue Hickey, who votes as an independent.
"I do think the world is changing and we need to be open to considering things that might discriminate or harm somebody.
"I'm very open," she said.
Transgender activist Martine Delaney argued the removal of gender on birth certificates would have a benefit for transgender people who are applying for new jobs, saying they won't "out themselves."
On the other hand, feminist group Women Speak Tasmania believe no changes should be done to birth certificates.
The Australian Christian Lobby told the publication that the bill was "essentially abolishing gender" and "homogenizing humanity."
"If you are legally a transgender woman, even if you have a penis you can go wherever you want in terms of women's safe spaces," a spokesman said.