Spain: Parliament Passes Trans Identification Bill

On Thursday, Spain's lower chamber of Parliament voted 188-150 to allow anyone 16 years and up to change their legally registered gender without medical evaluation, 14- and 15-year-olds to do so with parental approval, and 12- and 13-year-olds with a judge's authorization.

Spain: Parliament Passes Trans Identification Bill
Image credit: Paul White/AP [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • On Thursday, Spain's lower chamber of Parliament voted 188-150 to allow anyone 16 years and up to change their legally registered gender without medical evaluation, 14- and 15-year-olds to do so with parental approval, and 12- and 13-year-olds with a judge's authorization.
  • Until now, Spain required a medical report attesting to gender dysphoria and proof of hormonal treatment for two years in order to change one's gender on their national identity card. Previously, all minors also needed judicial approval to make the change.
  • The bill also includes a provision banning so-called conversion therapy — attempts to suppress one's sexual orientation or gender identity —and establishes fines and punishments for attacks on LGBTQ+ people.
  • As Parliament readied for the vote session, transgender rights activists gathered outside the building listening to the debate on their phones, while other trans rights representatives attended the session in the public gallery.
  • If it passes unchanged after heading to the Senate, Spain will join Denmark and more than a dozen other European countries that have already passed similar legislation allowing for a gender self-identification system. Scotland also passed a similar bill on Thursday.
  • The bill, sponsored by the far-left Unidas Podemos (United We Can) party, was opposed by both right-wing opposition parties and some within PM Pedro Sánchez's Socialist party, which unsuccessfully tried to introduce a provision requiring court approval for those up to 16 years old.

Sources: Dnyuz, DW, Al Jazeera, and Times Union.

Narratives

  • Left narrative, as provided by BNN Bloomberg. In Spain, transgender people face disproportionate rates of depression, suicide, and hate crimes due to the country's history — up until very recently — of putting the LGBTQ+ community on the fringe of society. This bill shows that, despite strong opposition from the other side of the political aisle, the Spanish people are finally evolving their views on the issue.
  • Right narrative, as provided by Breitbart. This issue isn't about left versus right but about protecting Spain's youth. Under the guise of promoting trans rights, the proposal is pushing a radical endorsement of irreversible and dangerous procedures for children. While there undoubtedly needs to be respect for everyone, there also needs to be protections for the country's most vulnerable.