Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Transgender laws to be introduced

Minister Eamon O'Cuiv is being advised on the requirements of transgender legislation

Legislation recognising transgender people in their new identity is set to be introduced after the Government scrapped a Supreme Court appeal.

The State was due to challenge a ruling that current Irish law on transgender rights was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

But after dropping its appeal against the High Court decision, the government will now have to bring in fresh legislation - or face condemnation from Strasbourg.

The move follows a 13-year battle for legal recognition as a woman by Dr Lydia Foy, who was registered at birth as a male.

The former dentist from Athy in Co Kildare was represented throughout her campaign by the Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC).

Michael Farrell, the organisation's senior solicitor paid tribute to Dr Foy's courage during her lengthy legal challenge.

"This has been a long and painful road for her to travel, but her action will help many others who have to make this difficult journey too," he said.

Mr Farrell called on the government to act quickly to introduce legislation recognising the new identity of transgender people and allowing them to obtain new birth certificates.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Social Protection said a gender recognition group was currently advising Minister Eamon O'Cuiv on the legislation required and what it should include.

After a series of failed attempts the High Court finally ruled that the lack of provision for recognising Dr Foy's new gender identity was a breach of her rights under Article 8 of the ECHR. Following the State's decision to drop its appeal, the Taoiseach must now report the court's decision to the Dail within 21 sitting days.

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