As the discussion on the ddl Zan in the Senate, the clash between those who support the bill against homotransphobia presented by the deputy Pd and those who oppose its approval. The main battleground between the center-right (and Catholic circles) and the supporters of the bill is the passage concerning thegender identity, a different concept fromsexual orientation. But what is gender identity? Why is it so important that it be included in the text? And how do the other laws in force abroad on this issue work?
What is gender identity
The text of the Zan bill, already passed by the House and now being examined by the Senate, at thearticle 1 defines the terms used to describe the categories subject to protection. In particular, it provides the notions of sex and gender. With sex “Means the biological or personal sex”, while the kind is “Any outward manifestation of a person that conforms or conflicts with social expectations related to sex.”
Then the text defines, in separate paragraphs, sexual orientation and gender identity. L’sexual orientation it is “sexual or emotional attraction towards people of the opposite sex, of the same sex, or of both sexes”. Therefore, regardless of the biological or personal sex of those who feel this attraction.
L’gender identity, on the other hand, it is “the perception of oneself in relation to gender, even if not corresponding to sex, regardless of having completed a transition path“. This concept, therefore, is independent of biological or age sex, and also of sexual orientation. For example, there may be a biologically female subject who does not feel like one, or vice versa, apart from the fact that she loves a man or another woman.
This definition contained in the Zan bill serves the purpose of protect trans people from transphobic aggressions, regardless of the possible transition path. Contrary to what the detractors of the Zan bill claim, the term “gender identity” is already present in the Italian legal system, because the Constitutional Court in sentence 221 of 2015 which establishes that gender identity is a “constituent element of right to personal identity, fully falling within the sphere of fundamental human rights “.
The objections and the proposed amendment
The main objection raised to the concept of gender identity included in the Zan bill is that it would advocate theinexistence of differences between biological sexes and would open up the possibility of vary your gender at will. Even some feminist acronyms (cd trans-exclusionary feminism) oppose this definition of gender identity, because they consider wrong to open to trans women spaces shared between women, such as gym locker rooms, because this would expose cisgender women (i.e. recognized as women from birth) to the risk of rape.
Yesterday the president of the Senate Justice Commission, the Northern League Andrea Ostellari, presented the proposed amendments to the Zan bill, which mainly consists in eliminating any reference to gender identity from the text. Also Italy Viva by Matteo Renzi proposed a compromise-amendment with the excerpt of the most controversial parts, replacing the definition of gender identity with the reference to “transphobia”.
Because gender identity is fundamental for supporters of the Zan bill
The proposed amendment, however, is deemed “inadmissible”From the Democratic Party, because deleting this reference would mean do not protect trans people. As the deputy dem and “father” of the Zan law decree explained, “sexual orientation and gender identity are pillars of a measure to which the criminal law enforcement is linked. On these principles no mediations are possible, because people’s lives are at stake ”. Furthermore, “gender identity has to do with one early perception of one’s gender and it is not – as some who contest the concept point out – the possibility of changing one’s sex from one day to the next ”.
How do the laws abroad on the subject work?
The concept of gender identity is also present in the international legal system. It is contained in the Recommendation 15/2015 of the European Commission against racism and intolerance and in the Recommendation on measures to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Both recommendations were adopted by Italy.
In addition, some states have adopted more progressive legislation on the issue. In Ireland, for example, you can do one statutory declaration, or a declaration before a notary, with penalties for unfaithful declarations, in which it is stated that you have the firm intention to live for the rest of your life in the chosen gender, understand the consequences of the decision, make the declaration of your own free will.
In Spain on 29 June the government approved in the Council of Ministers a bill that recognizes the citizens possibility to change one’s gender legally without the need to have performed hormonal treatments or to present medical reports. According to the Executive itself, this new rule guarantees people the denomination “right to self-determination “of gender identity.
Read also: Ddl Zan: a great opportunity to rewrite the rules of social coexistence