BUENOS AIRES – Legislators from Argentina’s ruling party are pushing debate on a bill to allow sex-change operations without previous judicial authorization, the press reported Sunday.
The “gender identity” bill would allow both sex-change operations as well as adjustment of a person’s national identity document to reflect a different gender, whether or not they had undergone surgery.
At present, changing the document can only proceed with the authorization of a judge, while sex-change operations are prohibited by law.
“Starting with the bill, sex changes will be a new right and will be able to be undertaken starting at the age of majority, at 18,” Congresswoman Diana Conti, of the governing Front for Victory, told the Buenos Aires daily La Nacion.
According to the bill, to receive a “gender adjustment” on one’s identity document, or DNI, a person will only have to make a legal declaration stating that he or she is of a different sex than their biological gender, whether or not they have had previous surgery.
“It’s a positive step because it will allow a group to get access to necessary documentation such as the DNI, which it doesn’t have today, and thus (those people) find themselves deprived of access to a decent job, to health (care), to housing and other essential rights such as education, from which they are segregated,” National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism director Pedro Mouratian said.
In July 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage.
In Argentina, there are some 2.4 million gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals, the equivalent of 6 percent of the population of 40 million, according to figures provided by those groups.