Once an oppressive dictatorship, Argentina has recently made a giant leap forward for transsexual rights. Now, trans men and women in Argentina are able to obtain National Identity Cards that correspond to their gender identity –sans emotionally jarring and invasive court and medical procedures.
In an uplifting ceremony on Monday, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez celebrated the law by handing out new identity cards to several trans people.
The historically discriminated against group is no longer forced to “prove” themselves to officials through surgeries and hormone treatments. Instead, these steps are now matters to be undertaken on trans-identified people’s own terms. Care2 reported that trans health needs will be covered by providers without causing a spike in their insurance premiums.
Fernandez also, according to the International Business Times (IBT), declared that all children with married same-sex parents be permitted to take both parents’ last names. The two last names would appear on the children’s official identification records.
"I want to say something about all of you,” Fernandez said at the ceremony, reported IBT. “Today you are going to have the same rights that I and millions of Argentines have had from the day we were born. This is the society that we want. A society of reparation for everything you've had to go through to reach this point.”
In terms of LGBT equality, Argentina is to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) what green beans are to a two-year-old. But unlike NOM, small children are easily excused for huffing and puffing over something that’s actually quite healthy.
In 2010, Fernandez spearheaded the legalization of same-sex marriage in the face of outcries from the Roman Catholic Church. CNN called the Latin American country “a leader on gay rights issues.”
It’s also worth mentioning that the groundbreaking new gender identity law “overwhelmingly passed congress.”
As Argentina moves forward to create a positive environment for its LGBT citizens, we can only hope that the United States will hop on the equal rights bandwagon –before we’re left in the dust. Hear that, American lawmakers?
Image courtesy of Human Rights Generation.