Looking at the headlines coming out of Spain this week, you might be confused as to whether the stories were actually taking place in the United States. The socialist-led government in Barcelona is currently considering a bill that would essentially eliminate the concept of gender from their entire system. (Sounding familiar yet?) The policy would basically remove any and all barriers to someone legally changing not just their name, but their gender on all government documents. This ability would extend to some children as well. But there are still many more conservative people, primarily Catholics, who are pushing back against such a proposal. And they’re finding unexpected allies among feminist women. Yes, the Spanish are having their own version of the “TERF wars” that we’ve been seeing here in America. (Associated Press)
A new law proposed by the far-left party in Spain’s coalition government would make it easier for residents to change genders for official purposes. A bill sponsored by Equality Minister Irene Montero aims to make gender self-determination — no diagnosis, medical treatment or judge required — the norm, with eligibility starting at age 16. Nearly 20 countries, eight of them in the European Union, already have similar laws.
Factions of the Catholic Church and the far-right have focused their opposition to the bill on the fact that it also would allow children under 16 to bypass parental objections and seek a judge’s assistance in accessing treatment for gender dysphoria, the medical term for the psychological distress that results from a conflict between an individual’s identity and birth-assigned sex.
Less expected has been the fierce resistance from some feminists and from within Spain’s Socialist-led government.
Unlike the current rules of the road in the United States, this bill would allow anyone at least sixteen years of age to simply fill out a card and make the change. There would be no requirement for a medical diagnosis, to say nothing of gender dysphoria treatment, and no legal process to go through. It would also remove the ability of parents to intervene when their sixteen-year-old children decide to embark on such a process.