I who may well be...

Musings from the perspective of a human being who may well be not locatable completely within the usual categories of male or female or gay or straight or transsexual or intersexed or exploiter or exploited or supplier or consumer or performer or spectator.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sydneysider fights to retain ungendered status

Sydneysider fights to retain ungendered status

By David Lewis and Bridget Brennan
Updated 7 hours 6 minutes ago
Norrie with supporters
Intersex Sydneysider Norrie (centre) with supporters including Greens MP Lee Rhiannon. (User submitted: Alison Orme)
The first person in Australia to be officially recognised as neither man nor woman has lodged a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission, after the decision was revoked
Norrie, who was born in Scotland, became the first person in Australia to have their gender listed as 'sex not specific' on a details certificate earlier this month.
However on Tuesday the 48-year-old received a phone call from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages saying the certificate would be cancelled due to pressure from higher levels of government.
Norrie says the decision is a breach of human rights.
"I was devastated by the news," Norrie said.
"I felt killed. It's a hideously humiliating position to find myself in and makes a mockery of my human rights. I feel completely violated by the [NSW] Attorney-General's office."
New South Wales Greens MP Lee Rhiannon questioned the Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, in parliament today.
Mr Hatzistergos denied he was behind the decision.
"At no time did I - well I didn't speak to the registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages but I'm advised also in relation to my office - make any direction to the registrar in relation to the decision that he took," he said.
However, Mr Hatzistergos said the Director-General of his department discussed the matter with the registrar and a decision was reached to obtain legal advice.
"My office was advised of that legal advice on Monday," he said.
"Advice from the Crown solicitor is that the registrar may only issue a recognised details certificate or new birth certificate following a change of sex in either male or female gender.
"The registrar has accepted this advice and has directed that any application for recognised details certificates or changes to sex comply with this advice."
The support group SAGE (Sex and Gender Education) says in issuing Norrie with the document, New South Wales was complying with 2009 recommendations made by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The Greens are now calling for the Attorney-General to change the law so that Norrie's gender status can be recognised without a sex change.


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