Write to your MP 

Start off by finding your electorate MP here. Then you can either use the email template below or write your own reasons for supporting the proposed amendments to the Births Deaths and Marriages Act.

In addition, please copy in the New Zealand First Members of Parliament (details under the email template), as they are the least likely to support the amendment and they need to hear that the right to self identify matters to you.

Here’s a template you can use

[Date]

Kia ora [name]

I am writing in support of amendments to the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill, as suggested by the Governance and Administration select committee in the report published on the 10/8/2018. Specifically, the amendments contained within clause 22 which deal with streamlining the process for changing the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate.

In particular, I urge you to consider and act on the recommendations which would create a identification process and remove the existing requirement for an individual to obtain a Family Court declaration to change the sex recorded on their birth certificate. And ensure that the process can be applied to people from all age groups (including people under 18 with parental or guardian assistance).

I also urge you to support creating more inclusive legislation by providing alternative gender markers for non-binary and persons born with variations of sex characteristics (intersex).

Finally, I ask that you support the recommendation to move to a self-identification process by removing all references to “medical treatment”, “medical evidence”, “physical conformation”, “sexual assignment”, and “sexual reassignment” from the bill.

Similar changes have been successfully implemented in Malta, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and most recently the state of California, and have been met with very positive outcomes. A study by the Williams institute at UCLA found that none of the claimed negative safety outcomes could be proven in areas where Transgender non-discrimination laws had been adopted. [1]

***[Share a bit about yourself: where you’re from, why this issue matters to you personally]***

Gender identity can be seen as a complicated issue, but it is also a deeply personal one. The current process for changing the sex on one’s birth certificate, requiring court declarations and medical intervention, creates unnecessary barriers to what is ultimately a personal matter. In contrast, changing one’s passport or driver’s licence is a simple matter of making a statutory declaration.

Recently there has been a rise in resistance to these changes driven by a small group of people claiming that there was insufficient consultation on this bill (despite all making submissions to the committee, some twice under the guise of being an organisation). This local group has been backed by large numbers of overseas based social media accounts in an attempt to influence New Zealand policy and make the movement seem much larger than it really is. These views are not shared by mainstream organisations like the National Council of Women who have issued statements of support for trans people and their inclusion within society [2] and the Human rights Commission whose submission supported these amendments.

I urge you to recognise that the opposition to the proposed changes comes from a place of the deepest prejudice within a vocal minority, and vote to support the proposed amendments.

Ngā mihi nui,

[Your Name]

Sources:

[1] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13178-018-0335-z
[2] https://genderequal.nz/feminism-and-trans-rights-must-go-hand-in-hand/

Contact details for New Zealand First MPs

Other ways you can help

Please share this with your friends and family and ask them to join you in emailing their MP to support the BDM Act amendments.

If you are in a position to do so, please consider making an appointment to meet with your local MP and state your case in person.