Update: ‘Sex Not Specified’ status revoked

March 19, 2010

Barely a week after the news of the granting of a ‘Sex Not Specified’ Recognised Details Certificate in place of a birth certificate to norrie mAy-Welby, SAGE Australia and others are reporting that:

The Attorney General of NSW has pressured the NSW registery of Births, Deaths and Marriages to revoke the Sex Not Specifed status of Norrie May Welby. The inhumane actions and total lack of understanding by the Attorney General in this matter has led to the lodgement of an offical complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission under the 1984 Sex Discrimination Act. [Via]

Both Norrie and SAGE issued statements yesterday, 18 March 2010, at a press conference held at the Offices of the Australian Human Rights Commission where a complaint was lodged against the NSW Attorney General’s Office for sex discrimination under the 1984 Sex Discrimination Act. (Direct link to PDF copy of the statements here).

From norrie’s statement:

I am devastated by the news. It is a hideously humiliating position to find myself in and makes a mockery of my human rights that I feel have been completely violated by the Attorney General’s Office.


I am being discriminated against because my sex is not the same as the average male or female but I am still a human being and entitled to protection under the law.

My complaint also cites breaches of Articles 1 and 2 of the United Nation’s Charter of human Rights of which Australia is a signatory. My right to socially differentiate myself is being interfered with by the state. Also I am being harassed by the Rudd Government because of my sex. I will continue to fight for my right through the courts to identify myself in society as the person I truly am ‘Sex Not specified’

Tracie O’Keefe’s statement for SAGE suggests that this is nothing other than “a cruel, viciously and politically motivated attack on [norrie’s] identity by the Attorney General to woo right-wing voters in a year when the Rudd Government proposes to fight an election” and adds:

In 2009 the Australian Human Rights Commission released its report on the legal disadvantages of sex and/or gender diverse people in Australian society – The Sex Files – and made recommendations for changes in government policy and laws. The government has done very little to implement these changes and still sex and/or gender diverse people are often stuck in a legal disadvantaged situation that would not apply to any other sector of society.

In the report the AHRC recommended that people like Norrie be allowed to have identities that do not specify their sex/or gender. However it seems the Attorney General has dismissed these recommendations and human rights are way down his list of priorities, far below appeasing right-wing Labor party supporters. This is a scandalous abuse of power.


(Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia)


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One Response to “Update: ‘Sex Not Specified’ status revoked”

  1. julian Says:

    Dammit. After such an amazing advancement.

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