Around a year ago I applied to the WA Gender Board for a Recognition Certificate. This is a legal document acknowledging my Gender reassignment, and permitting me to change my Gender Marker.

My request for the certificate was denied, because section 15(3) of the Gender Reassignment Act  of WA forbids the issuing of Gender Recognition certificates to anyone who is legally married. I challenged this decision robustly with two legal arguments based on the constitution, both of which were given due consideration, but eventually overruled. The ruling was provided to me in a lengthy document detailing exactly why my constitutional challenges failed. It was disappointing but not a complete surprise.

In the last year, in other states across Australia,  the laws around Gender Recognition have slowly been changing to keep up with developments in the law around Same Sex Marriage. Here in Western Australia however things move more slowly. There has been an interesting development however….

The Federal Law that allowed State Governments to discriminate against Transgender People has been repealed. This arcane law, that was written into the Federal Sex Discrimination Act  (Subsection 40(5)) ,  has finally been removed from the statute books effective from the 9th of December 2018. What this means for me is that the State of WA is now no longer legally entitled to refuse to recognise my Gender Transition, due to my ongoing marriage. If they do so, they are in breach of the Federal Law on Sex Discrimination, and can be duly prosecuted under that same law.

With this in mind, I recently emailed the Gender Board of WA and politely requested that they reconsider their position on my Gender Recognition Certificate based on the premise that the change in Federal Law no longer gives them the right to refuse…

The response was suitably terse, and very bureaucratic. They requested I submit another application form, which I have of course done. It remains to be seen what happens, but I suspect the wheels in this Government turn so slowly, that by the time, my case is heard, and I have a chance to challenge their ancient thinking, that the WA laws will have caught up with the rest of the civilised world…