Economy

Birth certificate change possible without surgery under NT transgender laws

File photo Source: AP

News laws will mean Northern Territorians can change their gender without having sex reassignment surgery.

The Northern Territory parliament has passed laws allowing people to change their gender without sex reassignment surgery.

People will be able change the gender on their birth certificates to male, female, and other non-binary and intersex identities.

Parents will be able to change the sex identity of their children.

NT Attorney-General Natasha Fyles said the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 made the Territory more compliant with the Sex Discrimination Act.

"Australians voted last year to allow same-sex marriage so there are consequential amendments needed in the NT," she said.

The bill was passed on Thursday night by the legislative assembly, where Labor holds 18 of the 25 seats.

Independent MP Robyn Lambley and deputy CLP opposition leader Lia Finocchiaro have questioned why such a significant bill was passed after only 30 days of committee scrutiny.

The laws also remove the requirement for a person to be unmarried to register a change of sex.

Previously, transgender people couldn't change the gender on their birth certificate without being forced to divorce their spouse, said Lee Carnie, senior lawyer for the Human Rights Law Centre, which was involved in the legislation.

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