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Spanish Trans Law Approved in Senate, Goes Back to Congress

Senate approved the law despite the opposition and UN rapporteur warning of “serious consequences.”

Spanish Trans Law Approved in Senate, Goes Back to Congress

On February 8, 2023, the Spanish senate approved the “Ley Trans” law with 144 votes.

“Ley Trans” will allow a legal sex change in four months from applying to anyone older than 11, without having to visit a doctor or take cross-sex hormones.” There were 108 votes against the new law, which will be sent to the congress for final approval a week later.

The opposition to the Ley Trans in Spain, which includes several political parties and feminist groups, claims that the senate ignored the concerns raised in other European countries. They are referring to cases such as the Scottish self-id law, which was approved in a similar manner last December, with “minimal and technical modifications” - and then subjected to a block by Westminster. The opposition to the Ley Trans include the political parties Partido Popular (PP), Vox, Ciudadanos (CS) and Unión del Pueblo Navarro (UPN) who urged the Spanish government to "look at the countries around us" such as Finland, Sweden or the United Kingdom. They claim that these countries “advanced with these laws and now are not only ‘putting the brakes on’ them, but are also amending them” to address the concerns raised.

The opposition cited the closing of Tavistock gender clinic in the UK, and the growing number of people who have been harmed by the “affirmative model” for “gender dysphoria” and say that “their lives are infinitely worse because they suffer from depression or suicide attempts.” Giving Sweden as an example, the opposition warned about the dangers of hormonal and medical treatments for minors, which have now been stopped in the country. El Mundo journal cited Reem Alsalem, UN Special Rapporteur, who said in an interview for the same paper “It is very dangerous that children can change their bodies without any restrictions.”

Alsalem, whose statements were brought by the party PP to the senate, also spoke about “self-identification” with the opposite sex, saying that "women's rights may once again be limited” and that "individual will is not enough" to deal with “gender identity.”

The UN Rapporteur also expressed concern about people losing their jobs for talking about sex-based rights.” Spanish feminist group Alianza Contra el Borrado de las Mujeres (Against Female Erasure Alliance) released a statement on the day the law was approved in Senate saying that the “the parallels in the processing, content and objectives of the Law of ‘Yes is Yes’ and the Ley Trans are disturbing."

Contra El Borrado points out that both laws “violate regulations and international treaties in force that protect the rights of women and children.”

“We demand that the President of the Government reflect on the risks associated with the self-determination of the registered sex and that, in the face of minority interests, prioritize the rights of women and the integrity of children.”

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