The government have proposed lowering the age at which a person can change their legal gender from 18 to 16.
Under the proposed law a person can be biologically male or female in every detail but still be declared a member of the opposite ‘gender’.
In the initially published draft heads of the proposed Gender Recognition Bill 2013, the age at which a person could apply for a ‘gender recognition certificate’ was set at 18. But according to the Irish Times, a proposal by Ombudsman for Children Emily O’Reilly and the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Children that the age be lowered to 16 has been accepted by Minister Joan Burton.
The ombudsman’s office argued that the current law allows people aged 16 or over to consent to medical treatment, and that this would create an anomaly whereby a person could go through a ‘medical transition’ at 16 but not have their new gender recognised for another two years.
A proposal to allow a person to change the gender on their birth certificate is still part of the bill.