The Advocate, USA
Argentina Passes Comprehensive Transgender Rights Law
The law passed 55-0 in the Senate, and the president is expected to sign it.
BY Trudy Ring
May 11 2012 6:21 PM ET
Argentina’s Senate has overwhelmingly passed a sweeping transgender
rights bill, and President Cristina Fernandez is expected to sign it
The measure, passed Wednesday, allows people whose gender identity
does not match their physical characteristics to change their name and
gender marker on public documents without having undergone
gender-reassignment surgery and without approval from a doctor or
judge, the Associated Press reports. It also assures that those who
want surgery or hormone therapy will have insurance coverage for it
with no extra premium, through both public and private plans.
The vote was 55-0, with one senator abstaining and more than a dozen
declaring themselves absent.
The law will give transgender people in Argentina more freedom than
they have in many U.S. states, some of which require proof of surgery
for changing the gender marker on, for instance, a driver’s license.
“This gives the individual an extraordinary amount of authority for
how they want to live,” Stanford University professor Katrina
Karkazis, who has written extensively on issues of gender identity,
told the AP. “It’s really incredible.”
The National Center for Transgender Equality notes in a blog post
that the law “reflects the hard work of trans and LGBT advocates in
Argentina as well as the growing trend of recognition for trans
people’s identities and medical needs internationally.” In 2009,
Uruguay adopted a similarly broad gender identity law.
Argentina has been a pioneer for LGBT rights in its region in other
ways, two years ago becoming the first Latin American nation to
approve same-sex marriage. Read more here
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