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The way things are going, Ireland looks set to challenge Scotland as the best place for LGBTs in Europe. In just a matter of months, the small island-nation has adopted new protections and benefits for same-sex families, legalized marriage equality, and committed itself to intensifying workplace nondiscrimination laws. Now, the Irish government has announced that it will no longer require testimony from psychiatrists or endocrinologists to recognize a trans person's gender identity, but will instead accept personal declarations. This new policy catapults the country from the backbench in regards to trans rights, to world leaders.
Deputy Prime Minister (Tánaiste) Joan Burton said that the Cabinet had decided to include the change in the Gender Recognition Bill currently under consideration earlier this week, adding:
“A person who transitions gender will have their preferred gender fully recognised by the State for all purposes – including the right to marry or enter a civil partnership in the preferred gender and the right to a new birth certificate.”
The law will apply to everyone aged 18 and over, with those ages 16-17 still requiring medical recommendations. In a statement, Transgender Equality Network Ireland chair Sarah Phillips applauded the move:
"This is a momentous moment. To be given the respect to self-determine our gender is true equality. For once I can believe our community are seen as full equal citizens. Today I am so proud of our country."
[H/T The Journal]