Parliament has passed the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, which allows people to change their sex on their birth certificates by just filling out a statutory form. Gender and sex are different, yet self-identification will replace sex in law with the contested theory of ‘gender identity’. Hundreds of people made submissions to a parliamentary committee raising concerns that this could be abused by predatory males (demanding access to female changing rooms, public toilets, women’s refuges, being housed in women’s prisons etc). The supporters of sex self ID responded by flatly denying the possibility that it could be abused. Rather than engage with people’s concerns they shouted that all opposition was ‘transphobic’.
The women’s rights group Speak Up For Women has issued this statement:
The Births, Deaths and Marriages bill (sex self-ID) passed unanimously in the House today. Our goal has always been the protection of women’s rights in law. Although this new law represents an erosion to those rights, we’re glad that our advocacy led to the inclusion of clause 80 which allows that – regardless of what is stated on a birth certificate – service providers can still offer single sex spaces and services on the basis of biological sex.
Regardless of what parliament decides to record on birth certificates, biological sex will go on existing and mattering; everyone knows which sex class can get pregnant and the associated issues and discrimination. The female experience cannot be legislated out of existence. This law simply means New Zealand is losing protections for women and children, data and opportunities to redress inequality.