The Council has been asked to "inquire into and report on steps necessary to provide for legal recognition of transgender and intersex people in the Territory" and to "ensure that such provision is compliant with" the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT), with particular regard to -
a) the existing provisions of the Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration Act 2004The Council is also to "broadly examine and report on the scope of" the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT).
b) the potential implications of legal recognition of transgender and intersex people in the Territory for public functions or documentation under the Territory and Commonwealth law
c) the potential implications of legal recognition of transgender and intersex people in the Territory for mutual and other recognition of a person's sex by and among the States, Territories and Commonwealth
A media release from the ACT Department of Justice & Safety offers a somewhat different indication of the review. It states that -
Transgender rights & legal recognitionThe thin 'Cultural Relativism Versus Sexual Rights as a coherent set of Human Rights' [PDF] by Marco Fanara quotes authors of a Canadian report as commenting that -
The Council will provide opportunities for public comment as it undertakes the inquiry.
The terms of reference for the Council's latest inquiry are available online ...
As part of its inquiry, the Council will consider advice by the Human Rights Commission on the current state of ACT law. The advice reviews the requirements for registering a change of sex under the Births, Deaths, & Marriages Registration Act 1997, and includes some recommendations for legislative reform.
The Council will also consider the recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission in its Sex Files: the legal recognition of sex in documents and government records report of April 2009.
Inquiry into the Discrimination Act 1991
The Attorney General also requested that the Council broadly inquire into the scope and operation of the Territory's primary anti-discrimination legislation, the Discrimination Act 1991.
This inquiry will proceed independently of the inquiry into transgender rights and legal recognition.
The Council's first step will be to identify more detailed terms of inquiry. As with the inquiry into transgender rights, there will be opportunities for public comment, and further details will be posted on this website.
The notion that there are two and only two genders is one of the most basic ideas in our binary Western way of thinking. Transgender people challenge our very understanding of the world. And we make them pay the cost of our confusion by their suffering.