Not content with legalising gay marriage earlier this month, Ireland has just taken another leap forward in the equality stakes by introducing measures that recognise the struggles faced by transgender people as well.
Irish media reported on Thursday that from next month trans people will be allowed to self-report their preferred gender rather than go through psychological and medical testing to get it recognised.
The new legislation will make it easier to get married and update passports, driving licenses, and birth certificates. The government also dropped a section of a new bill that would have required married trans people to get a divorce in order to be legally recognised as a member of the opposite sex.
In a statement, Ireland's deputy prime minister Joan Burton said:
A person who transitions gender will have their preferred gender fully recognised by the State for all purposes — including the right to marry or enter a civil partnership in the preferred gender and the right to a new birth certificate.
- Joan Burton, deputy prime minister of Ireland
The new policy means that Ireland has joined Denmark as one of only two countries in Europe that legally allow people to change their gender without supporting medical statements.