Queensland scraps law forcing married transgender people to divorce | Australia news

The Queensland government has removed an anachronistic quirk of state law that forced married transgender people to divorce to if they sought legal recognition of their gender.

The laws were drawn up before same-sex marriages were recognised.

The vote by the Queensland parliament on Wednesday to amend the state’s Births, Deaths and Marriages Act recognised the existing marriages of people who undertake gender reassignment. They can now apply to have their birth certificates amended without having to get divorced.

“This is not a cost or a consequence any law of this state should impose on members of our community,” said the state’s attorney-general, Yvette D’Ath. “It has been unjust and unfair and I’m proud to say this distressing choice will no longer be a requirement in Queensland.

“I hope delivering this reform will go some way to helping the transgender community to live their lives openly and without judgment.”

The changes were supported by the Liberal National party opposition, the Greens and the independent Sandy Bolton. One Nation and Katter’s Australia party MPs voted against them.

The KAP state leader, Rob Katter, told the ABC said the party was philosophically opposed to the federal law changes and the Queensland bill.

“It’s a consistent ideological position we have,” Katter said. “This is a continued attack on traditional values and we want to represent the traditional views.”

The Palaszczuk government has steadily reviewed a number of laws, some remaining from Queensland’s conservative past, on human rights grounds. It has expunged historical convictions for homosexual people, removing the “gay panic” defence in assault and murder cases, changed the age of consent and removed barriers to same-sex adoption.

The government is now reviewing abortion laws, which in some parts date back to 1899. It is expected the state will begin a euthanasia debate after abortion laws are passed.

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