Trans law now makes gender and name change much easier in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
gender law

Spaniards aged 16 and above will be able to change their name and gender by law in the civil registry from Thursday 2 March. The express wish of the applicant is the only requirement for this, states Ley Trans, the ‘trans law’. 

So from Thursday, it will suffice for anyone who wishes to do so to submit a request in writing to change their registration. Evidence or witnesses are not required. Then, the decision must be endorsed by the applicant three months later. After which, the civil registry then has another month to make the change. The procedure will therefore take a maximum of four months. 

This law amends the text approved in 2007 during the socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. In it, the change of registration required at least two years of hormone treatment and a medical diagnosis recognising gender dysphoria. 

What does the law mean for minors? 

With the entry into force of the law, minors aged between 14 and 16 can also change their name and gender. However, they will need the consent of their parents or guardians for their application. In cases where a minor does not have consent, a judicial defender will be appointed to reach a solution. 

Children aged 12 to 14 can also change gender, provided they have permission from a judge. Minors under 12 cannot change their gender.

In case of regret, return is possible 

In contrast, the law allows a trans person to request to return to their original gender within six months. If they wish to change this for a third time, they must apply to a judge. That will then decide whether there is legal fraud. 

Justice confirmed to Spanish news site Europa Press that the civil registry is willing to make this change to the law. Indeed, these measures are already being applied similarly in 15 autonomous regions that have their own trans laws. 

Cogesa Expats

Safeguarding lgbti rights 

These are not the only measures that will come into effect. The law also contains measures to guarantee the rights of lgbtis. Homosexual couples will be treated the same as heterosexual couples when it comes to rights over their children. 

Single women, lesbians and bisexuals are given the option of assisted reproduction. And there are measures for diversity training for elderly assistants or measures related to education and against discrimination against the group (employment, social, leisure). 

The law also recognises ‘sexilio’. This represents a person from the collective leaving a city or place due to discrimination or lgbti phobia in their environment in that place, or prohibits so-called conversion therapies. 

Feminists are critical 

The FELGTBI+ movement has assured that it will remain “vigilant” to ensure that all the measures implied by this law are properly applied. The law has received quite a bit of criticism, both from the political world and civil society. 

Also from the feminist movement, which will continue its fight against this law until it is repealed. The feminists believe that this law will lead to the ‘levelling out’ of women in statistics or sports. They also see this law as distorting the law on gender violence. This would allow male aggressors to escape or serve their sentences in women’s prisons if they request gender reassignment. Or the fact that transgender women could take advantage from benefits that women receive.

Also read: Transgender law and abortion reform approved

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