Sunday, 23 September 2007

Passports Again

I'm not the only one who's been having problems.

From SSOnet:
The Federal Government has refused to issue a post-operative trans woman a female passport on the basis that she is married to a woman.

Grace Abrams last week appealed the decision by Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
On returning to Australia as a female, Abrams applied to the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages to register the change of sex. A female birth certificate was refused on the basis she was married.

Shortly after, Abrams armed herself with documentation that proved she was a woman, including medical certificates and statutory declarations, and lodged an application for an amended passport through the Australian Passport Office.

Not only was her valid interim female passport destroyed, Abrams was told she could be issued with a passport in the male gender only. She was later informed she could not be issued with a valid passport in the female gender because she could not provide a birth certificate showing the gender of reassignment.

All Australian citizens, including Abrams, are entitled to a passport if they can prove their identity and citizenship.

Abrams’s lawyer David Shoebridge said if a trans person is not married, the Department of Births Deaths and Marriages would issue a birth certificate in the new gender.

“The Minister relied upon the failure of Grace Abrams to provide an amended birth certificate as the reason for refusing her application,” he said.

“That is purely a policy position taken by the Passport Office and is not founded in any legal requirements.”

Lawyers acting on behalf of the government told the Tribunal that Abrams could not be issued with a female passport because she did not have an amended birth certificate. They said the Minister was not satisfied Abrams was a woman.
Even though her OB/GYN is. Right.
However, it was acknowledged in the government’s Statement of Facts that the Minister was not bound to the policy.

Abrams said it was not fair to force trans people to choose between having their marriage or post-operative gender recognised.

“It is inhuman and unjust,” she said.

The verdict will be handed down in about two weeks.


Lloyd Flack said...

"They said the Minister was not satisfied Abrams was a woman."

Either they or the Minister are lying through their teeth. Come to think of it, isn't it a criminal offence to lie to a court.

Kiriel du Papillon said...

Grrrr.... maybe if she stripped off all her clothes and showed them they might believe her gender had been reassigned. Bloody hell.

Zoe Brain said...


Good to have you here!

I don't think they're lying. They truly believe that TS women are actually deluded, maimed men.

As for Intersex conditions like mine, they're just too hard to think about, so ignore them.

When science, facts, evidence collide with someone's deeply held world-view, they are often, not so much deliberately ignored, as just plain not perceived. For to admit their existence would require such deep-seated and unsettling change in their whole conception of the world, it is impossible for them to emotionally accept it.

Anonymous said...

Zoe said: "As for Intersex conditions like mine, they're just too hard to think about, so ignore them."

I have found the same thing, consistently, by all members of the medical profession and bureaucrats.

In fact I am still trying to accept the fact that I was born with transsexualism AND other intersex conditions as the latter have always been ignored by medicos even when blatantly obvious and right in front of their faces.

So I thought, oh well, these things must mean nothing, and I am nothing more than what they say I am.

And so the obvious remained invisible for far too long.