Gender self-identification draft laws suffer defeats in Germany and Spain
In Madrid, the parliamentary debate about the “Trans Law” divides the leftist government. In Berlin, a clear majority rejected two self-identification propositions.
MADRID · 21 MAY 2021 · 11:18 CET
With only a difference of hours, two national parliaments in Europe have defeated proposed texts which aimed to legalise gender self-identification.
In Spain, a majority of the Congress voted on 18 May against the “Trans Draft Law” that was put forward by Catalan party ERC and supported by leftists Podemos. The later is one of the two coalition government parties, leading the Equality Ministry in charge of Feminist and LGBT issues.
This draft law defended “the internal and individual experience of gender as each person feels and self-defines it, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth”.
The proposed law aimed to allow all citizens above 16 years old to change their sex in official documents without medical or psychological checks to prove suffering gender dysphoria.
The text aimed to “depathologise” transgenderism by normalising terms as “trans childhood”. The law would allow gender transition for minors from the age of 12 and would reinforce governmental action to fight “transphobia” in all areas of society.
But the parliament blocked the processing of the law with the negative vote of the Conservative parties PP and Vox. Even more meaningful was the key abstention of the Social Democrats (the party of President Pedro Sánchez), whose spokesperson denounced that gender self-identifications would “not guarantee the legal security” of citizens in key areas such as the health system, work, penitentiary policies and sports.
The disagreement between the government partners on this issue is only the reflextion of a wider debate in a country where feminist organisations have expressed their clear opposition to a law that would “erase women”, “endanger children” and “make policies that combat inequality irrelevant”.
Spanish evangelicals: respect scientific evidence
The Spanish Evangelical Alliance had analysed the text before it was brought to the parliamentary debate, and warned in a statement that the “Trans Law” as presented would “put women and children at risk”, by allowing gender transitions for teenagers who have not yet reached sexual maturity.
The evangelical body called to not approve laws that “contradict scientific evidence” and work against the important role of parents in the upbringing of their children while “generating a cascade of social problems that would affect women”.
German parliament also defeats self-identification
One day later, on 19 May, the German Bundestag also voted against two gender self-identification proposals. One was presented by the liberal party FDP and the other by the Green Party.
Their text included measures such as bringing down the age of gender self-identification to 14.
In both cases, over 70% of parliamentarians voted against the draft texts.
In contrast with Spain, Germany has a 40-year-old Transsexuality Law (1981) that allows citizens to officially change their gender if they are able to present two psychological reports.
The debate is not over
These defeats, however, do not close the debate around self-identification. Analysts believe self-identification may soon be on the table again, also in other European countries.
The largest political parties in Germany and Spain (both on the centre-right and centre-left) have often expressed their commitment to promote “trans rights”, and are usually represented at LGBT Pride events.