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Spain Proposes Conversion Therapy Fines, Easing ID Gender Changes

Spain Considers It Making Easier to Change Gender On Government ID

The draft bills would also eliminate sex testing for trans athletes and guarantee rights for trans students.

Proposed changes to the legal code in Spain would allow transgender people to change the gender on official government identification more easily and participate in sports according to their registered gender rather than the gender assigned at birth; other proposed changes would levy fines for people promoting or selling conversion therapy, as well as provide a host of other LGBTQ+ protections. According to a report in El Pais, a bill entitled the Law for Real and Effective Equality for Trans People was drafted by the Equality Ministry and would allow people age 16 or older to change their gender with only a sworn statement rather than the two years of therapy and hormone treatment now required. Euroweekly earlier reported a separate proposed law from the ministry would levy heavy fines for offering gay conversion therapy.

Current Spanish law requires two years of hormone treatment before a person can change their gender on official documents. The new law would replace that requirement with a simple statement from the person seeking to make the change. For people under 16, a family member must consent to the change. If no family member consents, the proposed law appoints a legal defender to represent minors aged 12 and older.

The proposed laws provide incentives for employers to hire trans workers. The bill also guarantees respect for the "physical image, choice of clothing and access and use of facilities of an education center according to their gender identity" of trans students. It codifies freedom of expression for trans people, guaranteeing a person's right "to exercise all the rights inherent to their new condition." There are also guarantees for housing prisoners according to the true gender, as well as protections for trans immigrants.

Not everyone was enthused about the proposed law.

"This is the Equality Ministry's draft, but it's not the government's draft," one Socialist government source told Reuters, saying the bill still needed input and revision from other ministries. "The state is working towards a text that provides normative quality and legal certainty."

Meanwhile, Euroweekly noted an earlier draft law from the Ministry of Equality levies fines of up to 100,000 euros for promoting or selling gay conversion therapy, and also provides specific protections for victims of same-sex violence and intersex youth facing genital modification. In 2019 the country's health minster called for an end to the debunked practice which seeks to change someone's gender identity or sexuality. While fines would not be a ban akin to the ones countries like Malta, Germany, and more have done, but it could dissuade the practice.

RELATED | Montana House Passes One Anti-Trans Bill, Rejects 2nd on Procedure

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