Tánaiste announces the commencement of the Gender Recognition Act 2015

Print page

Friday, 4 September 2015: The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, T.D., today announced that she has signed the commencement order for the Gender Recognition Act 2015, which will enable transgender people to be formally recognised for all purposes by the State for the first time.

"I am delighted that I can now commence this Act with effect from Tuesday next, the 8th September 2015.  This marks a hugely significant and historic day for the transgender community, for their families, friends and, indeed, for all of Irish society.  From 8th September, it will be open to any transgender person to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate from my Department, and subsequently to obtain a new birth certificate which reflects their preferred gender.

"I am particularly happy that we are in a position to immediately provide this recognition to transgender people regardless of their marital status.    The Commencement Order which I have signed specifically excludes those elements of the legislation which required that applicants for gender recognition be single.  I was able to do so because the President has very recently signed the results of the Marriage Equality Referendum into law."

The Tánaiste paid tribute to all those who had been involved in bringing this important piece of legislation into effect.  "I am thinking today of people like Dr. Lydia Foy and others like her within the transgender community who have fought tenaciously to have their rights to gender recognition vindicated.   I am proud that this Government has been able finally to respond to the needs of this community.  I am proud also that the legislation is amongst the most progressive in the world in this area.  I want to acknowledge the positive contribution made by Deputies and Senators from across the political spectrum in the course of the legislative process.  Equally, I would like to thank the various representative organisations such as TENI who have been deeply engaged in this area and those individuals and organisations within the medical world who have also contributed significantly in bringing us to this point.   

"I would like especially to thank Minister of State Kevin Humphreys for the important role he played in piloting this legislation through the Oireachtas."

Minister Kevin Humphreys said: "I am very pleased to have been involved in driving this particular piece of legislation through the Dáil and Seanad.  This legislation is long overdue.  It was a challenge at times because of the complex and extremely sensitive issues involved.  This legislation is a progressive response to meeting the obligations of the State to transgender people which will enable them to be recognised for all purposes in their preferred gender."

The application form for the Gender Recognition Certificate will be available for download from the Department’s website (www.welfare.ie) from 8th September together with further background information.   The application form can also be obtained through the post by contacting Client Identity Services, Department of Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41 KD81 or by phone at 071 9672659.


Last modified:04/09/2015