Spanish and German gender-questioning kids safe – for now

In May 2021, the legislatures of Spain and Germany voted against the legalization of gender self-identification, against a backdrop of intense international debate on the issue, with ramifications for gender-questioning children.

According to the AP: “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.” Children between the ages of 12 and 16 would have been able to self-ID with parental consent. In other words, Spain just defeated the medical transition of gender-questioning kids starting at 16 based purely on self-diagnosis or from 12-16 with a parent agreeing to such a self-diagnosis. No medical checks would have been required at all.

The senior partner in the governing coalition, the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, abstained from supporting the bill, citing worries over conflations of sex and gender, thus defeating the bill, at least for the time being.

A similar law was also recently decisively voted down in Germany in mid-May. In that country, children as young as 14 would have been able to change their gender and begin medical procedures, even without parental consent.

Both laws still might proceed. In Spain, Minister Montero has vowed to resurrect the bill and get it passed. In Germany, it is expected the issue will be raised again in September 2021, after the upcoming election.

The UK also last autumn voted against a “self-ID” bill, while other countries are considering passing similar bills, including New Zealand.

Interestingly, a report put out in 2019 recommends that pro-self-ID campaigners try to avoid media coverage: “Groups campaigning for Norway-style laws should target the youth wings of political parties and ‘de-medicalise’ the issue, the report recommends. In Norway, it notes, the law changed after youth politicians ‘brought up the issue at every meeting of any sort – even ones which were not directly relevant, to ensure the issue was at the forefront of everyone’s minds.’” 

Is this because these activists want to hoodwink the public and not allow free, open, and balanced debate on the issue?

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