Written answers

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Department of Social and Family Affairs

Proposed Legislation

9:00 pm

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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Question 284: To ask the Minister for Social Protection his plans to introduce a gender recognition Bill, as promised in the renewed programme for Government 2009; the reason this Bill does not appear on the legislative programme; when it will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17831/10]

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Minister, Department of Social and Family Affairs; Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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The Renewed Programme for Government published in October 2009 contains a commitment to introduce legal recognition of the acquired gender of transsexuals. An interdepartmental committee is being established with the following terms of reference:- "To advise the Minister for Social Protection the legislation required to provide for legal recognition of the acquired gender of transsexuals. In particular to propose heads of a bill to provide for:-

the establishment of a process for legal recognition of the acquired gender of persons suffering from Gender Identity Disorder who have made the transition from one gender to another

the establishment of a gender recognition register

the granting of entitlement to marry in the legally recognised reassigned gender, and

any other provisions as may be deemed necessary consequent on the main provisions of the Bill"

The committee is made up of representatives of various Departments and Offices of State and will have its first meeting on Thursday, 6 May 2010. It is envisaged that the committee, as part of its deliberations, may invite submissions from interested groups, experts in the field and the public. I would expect that the committee will make its recommendations within a period of about 6 months. It is not possible at this early stage to say when the resulting proposals will be included in the legislative programme, or indeed, when a bill will be introduced. I would, however, assure the Deputy that the matter will be treated as a priority by the Department when the deliberations of the committee are finalised.

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