The debate around approving the transgender law in Spain
The approval of the draft bill of the "Trans Law" generates controversy in the most conservative sectors of Spain.
On June 29, one day after the main LGBTQ+ Pride day, Spain approved the draft bill to achieve real and effective equality for transgender people and at the same time guarantee the rights won for the community.
After much debate, the Spanish Council of Ministers has just approved the possibility for minors from the age of 14 to change the sex on their national identity documents.
The news comes in a divided scenario regarding the project. The law contemplates gender self-determination, allowing people to change their sex on their identity card by their own decision.
Until now, this possibility existed only with the requirement of a medical certification proving a medical condition, i.e. a trans person had to declare him/herself sick for not identifying with the sex assigned at birth.
However, the approval of the 'trans law' has generated a lot of tension between the government and its partners in the last year. It still also has to go through several phases before its final approval. The approval of the law implies making changes in the legislation to allow gender self-determination, and to make the change of name and sex in the national identity card.
The controversy over this law comes from conservative and right-wing sectors.
The leader of Vox, a far-right party, Santiago Abascal, stated that this law puts an end to "parental guardianship." At a macro level, the bill guarantees the LGBTIQ+ community, access to assisted reproduction practices; and modifies the Civil Code so that lesbian and bisexual women can legally affiliate their children without being married.
In the United States, a debate has also been generated by a proposal similar to the "trans law."
Although progress has been made, such as the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of trans students using the restroom according to their gender identity, some of the more conservative states have spoken out against it. In Arkansas, for example, they tried to ban access to gender affirming healthcare for transgender minors, in Florida, they approved limiting the participation of transgender girls in sports competitions. Measures of this kind only reproduce the structural and historical gender identity discrimination that many conservative states practice.
Trans children are perhaps those who are most affected without a trans law: in the absence of a law protecting trans identities, the bullying to which they are subjected increases, as well as physical aggression, isolation, and mental health problems due to their invisibility, not being represented in any space and feeling unprotected.
Legislation must also take into account the importance of visibility, recognition and representation of all.