‘Ley Trans’ almost official in Spain and these are the main points

by Lorraine Williamson
Ley Trans in final stages to give equal rights

More than a year and a half after the first introduction of ‘Ley Trans’, the bill has now also been approved by the Congress of Representatives. Just before the law is officially in force in Spain, the Spanish Government explains the main points of this law. 

In June 2021, the Ministry of Equality in Spain submitted this draft law to the Council of Ministers in Spain for the first time. On June 27, 2022, the design was approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers. The Congress of Deputies since gave its approval on Thursday 22 December. Therefore, the proposal has now been sent to the Senate for final approval. 

The Ministry of Equality speaks on Twitter of a historic day. The law has only improved in recent months and will be further enriched when it reaches the Senate. 

What exactly is the Ley Trans and what does it do in Spain? 

As the name partially says, this law aims to achieve real and effective equality for transsexuals and to guarantee the rights of the LGBTI+ community. Various organisations report that Spain has declined in recent years in terms of diversity and acceptance. These are the main points of the Ley Trans in Spain: 

Self-determination over gender 

If a person wants to have their sex changed at official authorities, there is no longer a need for numerous research reports or proof to be submitted. If the person is 16 years or older, this person may report this themselves without anyone else having to be involved. However, if the person is between 14 and 16 years old, a guardian must assist this person. For people under the age of 14, a voluntary justice system must take place. 

Trans people are no longer ‘sick’ 

This point guarantees in Spain that trans people will never again be considered ‘sick’ in Spain, with others being depathologised. A medical diagnosis is therefore no longer required for changing gender identity at official bodies. 

Equal rights over children for gay couples 

The approved law equates homosexual couples with straight couples when it comes to rights over their children. The bottom line is that gay couples no longer have to marry each other in order to have children with their partner. After birth, both persons therefore have the same rights. 

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Prohibition of conversion therapies 

Conversion therapies, i.e. processes aimed at changing someone’s sexual preference or orientation, are no longer allowed in Spain. Such therapies are considered a serious crime after the adoption of the law and therefore result in a fine. 

No gender reassignment surgery until age 12 

Genital operations on trans people will be banned up to the age of 12. When a younger person wants to undergo such an operation, there must be an absolute necessary reason for it, for example when it comes to the health of the person in question. 

Strategies against gender discrimination 

Multiannual strategies are being developed for the promotion, development and coordination of various forms of discrimination against persons of the LGBTI+ community. This is done in collaboration with the administrations of the autonomous communities in Spain. 

More attention to and measures against discrimination of trans people at school and work 

Attention will be paid to gender and family diversity in schools and universities. The aim is to pay more attention to the integration of trans people in the labour market. Measures against discrimination against trans people should also be laid down in collective labour agreements. 

Inclusion in healthcare 

Changes are also being made to healthcare for trans people so that healthcare staff will not see them as ‘sick’ and that they will receive comprehensive care in a respectful manner. 

What are the fines for breaking the law? 

Violations of the various provisions of the law are, as with many laws, divided into minor, medium and very serious violations. In the first category fines can be issued between €200 and €2,000. The middle category includes fines between €2,000 and €10,000. Furthermore, for very serious violations of this law, the fines can even amount to €150,000. 

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