Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks urges Ireland to adopt Legal Gender Recognition
“It is my position that legal recognition of the preferred gender should not require infertility or compulsory medical treatment which may seriously impair the autonomy, health or well-being of the individuals concerned. Any requirement of a medical diagnosis should be reviewed with a view to eliminating obstacles to the effective enjoyment by transgender persons of their human rights, including the right to self-determination. Moreover, divorce should not be a necessary condition for gender recognition as it can have a disproportionate effect on the right to family life.” says Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muižnieks in a letter to Irish Minister for Social Protection Juan Burton.
In her response, Minister Burton calls the enactment of Gender Recognition a priority for the Government and herself, however fails to establish a concrete timeline for the introduction of the Heads of Bills. In September 2012 she had promised the Irish and international audience of the 4th European Transgender Council in Dublin an introduction of the Heads of Bills in the coming weeks. In her response to the Commissioner, she reiterates ”complexities” around marital and civil partnership status as main reasons for the delay.