Auckland, August 2 2019

Minister Tracy Martin has announced a working group to look at reducing barriers to the process for changing sex on a birth certificate.

This follows her decision earlier this year to put the Births, Deaths, Marriages, Relationships Registration Bill – which contained a controversial sex self-identification clause – on hold, until legal issues were resolved and a public consultation could take place.

Speak Up For Women, a group formed to oppose sex self-ID, has requested to be included in Tracy Martin’s working group as advocates for women’s rights. No other New Zealand women’s organisation has spoken publicly about potential negative consequences for women and girls under sex self-ID law.

Ms O’Brien, spokesperson for Speak Up For Women, says: “The Minister’s working group includes people who were vocal proponents of sex self-ID and there has been a tendency for some to see vital safeguards for women and girls as “barriers”. There is a danger that this group could recommend policies that are self-ID in practice if not law.”

“As a country we must be cautious of any further steps taken toward the model seen in Canada, where a male is suing multiple beauticians, for refusing to give him a Brazilian wax.”

Ms O’Brien says: “We remind New Zealanders that under existing law, single sex services are protected on the basis of biological sex, which cannot change. A new birth certificate stating a “new” sex does not override this, so organisations providing services to women and girls where there is legitimate cause to exclude males, e.g. changing rooms, schools, domestic violence shelters, sports etc can continue to do so.”

ENDS

Email: contact@speakupforwomen.nz

Notes to editor:

Minister Tracey Martin’s Press Release

Example from Canada – National Post

Example from Canada – Financial Post

Example from Canada – The Guardian

Human Rights Act 1993, Section 21

Human Rights Act 1993, Section 43

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