Spain: free choice of gender for teens?

The cabinet of the Spanish governing coalition has presented a bill drafted by the left-wing party Unidas Podemos which seeks to guarantee the right to choose one's gender. Under the proposed legislation anyone over the age of 14 would be able to change their gender in official documents without a medical diagnosis, and once they are 16 without parental consent. The conservative national press voices concern.

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La Vanguardia (ES) /

Not old enough to decide

Minors should not be left to make this decision alone, La Vanguardia warns:

“It is at the very least questionable to let 16-year-olds who are not allowed to vote or buy alcohol or tobacco freely decide to change their gender. ... Because this is a major decision with lifelong consequences. ... The spirit of this law seems plausible to us in that it aims to protect rights and freedoms. But at the same time it is equally important to ensure that changes of such scope are made only after careful reflection and with the conviction that they will ensure the most satisfactory and happy outcome possible.”

ABC (ES) /

Ideologising sexual identity

In ABC's view the law is partially superfluous and partially propagandistic:

“The law will regulate gender self-determination as well as the 'depathologisation' of transsexuality. ... This is unnecessary: the WHO has already removed any reference to transsexuality as a disorder. Combating social hatred is one thing, but fabricating a legal artefact that ideologises sexual identity to the extreme is quite another. ... And all of this without a social debate about transgender persons' access to sports, penal institutions or the army, for example. The provisions are incomplete and aimed at winning votes.”