Sex and gender recognition

For an introduction to these issues, see our page on identification documents

Intersex Awareness Day, 2013

Here are this year’s Intersex Awareness Day words, by Morgan Carpenter, OII Australia president. Intersex Awareness Day, 2013 Today is Intersex Awareness Day. In a nod to Stonewall, the date marks the first public protest by North American intersex activists. The event marks a good moment to pause and reflect, and honour the people who…
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Morgan on intersex in The Guardian, “Australia can lead the way…”

On 18 June 2013, The Guardian newspaper published an article by OII Australia president Morgan Carpenter on recent progress for intersex people in Australia. The article presents information on the progress towards our inclusion in anti-discrimination legislation, plus the new federal sex and gender recognition guidelines – and also our attempts to raise vital issues…
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Spiegel Online

Der Spiegel: Third gender option in Germany a small step for intersex recognition

This opinion piece on birth certificates was published overnight in Der Spiegel on 22 August. It’s a collaboration between Silvan Agius of ILGA Europe, Morgan Carpenter (OII Australia) and Dan Ghattas (OII Germany): …no reporter has yet asked how this will effectively improve quality of life for intersex people, particularly when cosmetic genital surgeries on…
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German proposals for a “third gender” on birth certificates miss the mark

Over recent days, there have been a number of articles stating that the German federal government is proposing a “third gender” or blank sex designation on birth certificates for intersex people. As with recent federal Australian identity guidelines, the German proposals have generated enormous interest. From Der Spiegel: The option of selecting “blank”, in addition…
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Medicare is now sex and gender neutral

We welcome the Health Minister’s announcement today that Medicare will be gender and sex neutral. For intersex people, the fact that our bodies do not conform to sex norms means that the healthcare issues we face sometimes do not conform to the way medical services and procedures have been defined, and made available, by Medicare….
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OII Australia logotype

On Norrie v NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages

This is an analysis of the NSW Court of Appeal judgement in the matter of Norrie v the NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM), in relation to its relevance to intersex people. Update The case has now been appealed to the High Court by the NSW government. Our briefing paper on the High…
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AFP: Australia embraces new gender guidelines

Morgan Carpenter, OII Australia secretary, is quoted in this syndicated AFP article by Madeleine Coorey about the new federal guidelines for recognition of sex and gender. Organisation Intersex International Australia welcomed the new guidelines. But it noted that many people who were intersex, either because they have the biological attributes of both sexes or lack…
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Third sex, redux

After fielding a few phone calls it is clear that many people can’t grasp our position in opposing the creation of a third sex while supporting X sex descriptors on birth certificates and passports.

Equal Rights Trust: Testimony by Gina Wilson on rights for intersex people

The UK’s Equal Rights Trust has just published testimony by OII Australia president, Gina Wilson, in The Equal Rights Review, Vol. 10. Gina talks about her personal background, her work as an activist, and the issues we face in seeking human rights, including intersex and the sex binary, the medical model, invisibility in human rights…
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Submission on government recognition of sex and gender

This submission has been superseded by later policy, based on the 2013 Malta Declaration, a joint submission to the Attorney General’s Department on amending the guidelines, 2015 2017 Darlington Statement


Response to the ACT government on ‘Beyond the Binary’

On 19 March, the government of the Australian Capital Territory published its response to “Beyond the Binary”, a report on legal recognition of “Sex and gender diversity” in the Territory. This is our formal reply to the government response. Download full document (PDF) We made a formal response to “Beyond the Binary” in July 2012….
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