Spain’s left-liberal parliament has passed a transgender law, first promoted by Minister of Equality Irene Montero of the far-left Podemos party, which will allow children as young as 12 to change their gender legally, prompting the right-of-center opposition to vow to repeal the law.
With parliamentary approval of the controversial ‘trans law’ last week, Spain became the 10th European country—six of them members of the EU—to pass a law that permits gender self-determination, the Madrid-based newspaper El Mundo reports. The new law gives anyone over the age of 16 the right to legally change their gender via a routine legal filing.
The passing of the bill, which stirred debate in Spain’s senior coalition partner PSOE party, as well as the country’s feminist movement, came after the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of Spain’s legislative branch, approved the bill last December.
The trans law, short for the “law for the real and effective equality of trans people and for the guarantee of rights of LGTBI people,” states that minors between the ages of 14 and 16 may legally change their sex in the civil registry so long as they are accompanied by their parents or legal guardians, while those between 12 and 14 require judicial authorization.
Those older than 16, but who are still minors, no longer need to present medical or psychological reports that prove gender dysphoria—a sense of unease regarding the mismatch between someone’s assigned gender and their gender identity—that they are undergoing or have undergone hormone therapy, or that they have had a sex change or appearance-altering operations.
From the law’s inception, both VOX and Partido Popular (PP) have voiced staunch opposition to it, with members of both parties promising to repeal the law once they are in a position to do so. Following parliament’s approval of the bill, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of the Partido Popular, said his party would work to repeal the law if and when it is able to form a government after this December’s general elections.
He also stated that the PP objects to giving minors over the age of 16 the legal right to change their gender without parental permission, arguing that the new law will have harmful consequences, especially for minors. Additionally, Feijóo pledged to reverse changes to the abortion law, which allows minors to have abortions without parental permission.
Bishops from the Catholic Church have also spoken out against Spain’s new law. The Catholic News Agency reported that last December, the bishop of Orihuela-Alicante, José Ignacio Munilla, spoke ironically about the law, saying, “To hell with the fascist chromosomes! The chromosomes are not going to tell me what I am,” he mocked, recalling that Spaniards from just a few years ago would have thought it nonsense to think that genetics were so malleable.