28 Oct, 2022 @ 16:33
1 min read

Spain’s Socialist Party files amendments to planned ‘Trans Law’, risking delay to bill

Tax The Rich. Equilibrar La Balanza Fiscal In Madrid
February 7, 2022, Madrid, Spain: Minister of Equality, Irene Montero speaks during the event 'Tax the Rich. Equilibrar la balanza fiscal', organized by Podemos party, at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. (Credit Image: © Atilano Garcia/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire)

SPAIN’S governing Socialist Party is planning to file 16 amendments to the draft “Trans Law”, despite having supported the new legislation since its inception nearly a year ago. 

The planned bill has caused controversy in Spain, not least because it would allow people to change their name and sex at the Civil Registry without the need for a medical report diagnosing gender disphoria, nor hormone treatment, as are currently required.

What’s more, over-16s could request a change without parental consent, while those aged 14 to 16 would need permission from parents or a guardian. Anyone aged 12 to 14 would be able to do so with court authorization. 

Despite expectations that the law would pass with the support of the Socialists and their coalition partners Unidas Podemos, in recent weeks it emerged that there was a split within the Socialist Party over the legislation. 

Unidas Podemos, which is championing the bill from the Equality Ministry, was deeply unhappy about reports that the law could be delayed by further amendments. Party member Irene Montero heads up the ministry.

Among other amendments, the Socialists want to change the text so that anyone under 16 must get court authorization to change sex and name at the Civil Registry, for anyone who wants to change back to their original gender before self-determination to first have to go to the courts, and for inter-gender violence to not be equated with misogynist violence. 

The amendments, which were reported by Spanish daily El País, are due to be presented on Monday, and could change further before then. 

There are fears among campaigners that this process of amendments could see the approval of the legislation drag on. In protest at the Socialists’ change of attitude, Carla Antonelli, the only transexual to have held a parliamentary role in Spain, quit the party in protest earlier this month. 

“Dragging this out is only going to cause more pain and suffering […],” she wrote on Twitter to explain her decision. 

The conservative Popular Party and far-right Vox have been trying to block the bill altogether, and have made it clear they will try to extend the deadline for amendments even further.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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