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The Forum > Article Comments > High Court 'Norrie Case' builds on existing bad laws > Comments

High Court 'Norrie Case' builds on existing bad laws : Comments

By Brendan O'Reilly, published 4/4/2014

The amendments made provision for the alteration (on request) of the Births' Register to record a change of sex, where a person has undergone a sex affirmation procedure.

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I think this article builds on a case for a long overdue bill of individual human rights, one of which just has to be self-determination/sexual orientation!
It's really time, we had the self appointed control freaks, given the duck shove and told, go poke your nose elsewhere; or, mind your own dam business, at least until you've walked a mile in Mr/miz/miss Norrie's shoes.
Clearly, a much more enlightened High Court protects us from bad laws, I Believe, and sanctimonious, holier than thou, religious bigotry?
Posted by Rhrosty, Friday, 4 April 2014 9:51:30 AM
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>>"Females have two X chromosomes (XX) and males have an X and Y (XY)."

Nope. That's an appeoximation, it's more complex than that. 1 in 300 men aren't 46,XY, and some women are. Rarely, so are the daughters they give birth to. As here..

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9
--A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.

>>"To biologically change one's fundamental sexual makeup, it would be necessary to alter the chromosomal identity of every single cell in the body"

Er... why? Why should chromosomes be deemed to be the be-all and end-all, and why "every single cell"? Would one cell make a difference? Two? A thousand?

A bone marrow transplant can change your genes. An XX woman can end up being an XY woman if the donor was XY.

See
Bone marrow-derived cells from male donors can compose endometrial glands in female transplant recipients by Ikoma et al in Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Dec;201(6):608.e1-8

>>"biological sex ...is something determined at conception"

Nope. A conceptus can result in half a person (fusion of embryos), two people (identical twins who may even be of opposite sexes) etc.
Posted by Zoe Brain, Friday, 4 April 2014 11:50:00 AM
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It is outrageous that the government should keep records about our sex-organs in the first place!
Posted by Yuyutsu, Friday, 4 April 2014 11:50:32 AM
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>>"The integrity of historical facts recorded on birth certificates is crucial to good administration. Common sense, as well as accepted record-keeping practices, suggest that a Birth Certificate should accurately reflect a person's sex at the time of birth."

Why? The only reason I can see for a Birth Certificate is as part of an Audit trail verifying current details - in which case it must be kept strictly confidential, and certainly never used as an Identity document to determine who one's parents are, or what your name or sex is, etc.

Unfortunately, Birth Certificates have been used historically as a current ID document - which is why we have "kludges" like altering them in case of adoption, or transsexual transition.

Some need to be changed anyway for accuracy. The details may be misrecorded, or the assumption of sex based on superficial appearance may be erroneous. Transsexuals are born with mixed anatomy.

A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality. by Zhou et al Nature (1995) 378:6870.
--Our study is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops as a result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones.

If we went by neuro-anatomy, then trans people would have been accurately recorded as the sex they say they are.

Some humans also naturally change sex from appearance at birth for example. See http://www.usrf.org/news/010308-guevedoces.html

The author, an obviously competent administrator, unfortunately has some very fundamental misconceptions about biology - something he admits is possible. Hence his incisive and logical but erroneous conclusions based on fatally flawed premises.

The example I gave of natural sex change is 5ARD syndrome. 17BHSD has similar effects. 3BHSD can cause a change either way, but usually before birth.

I have 3BHSD. Trying to get my identity documents correct and consistent has been a lengthy struggle, not over yet, as more laws have to be corrected first. It took a 20 month legal fight just to get a passport of any kind.
Posted by Zoe Brain, Friday, 4 April 2014 12:01:59 PM
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Zoe

While I agree with some of what you say, I think you are mostly just muddying the waters.

In a one page article, I think I had little choice but to keep matters simple, especially a passing reference to biology. The fact is that for in excess of 99% of people, the presence or otherwise of a Y chromosome determines whether a person is male or female. I acknowledge the existence of rare genetic conditions but this is irrelevant to my main point.

The main issue is whether the details on a birth certificate, if correctly recorded in the first instance, should be changed when a person in adulthood undergoes a sex change procedure. My view is that a birth certificate should only be changed if a mistake has been made in completing the original certificate, and that the event of sex change surgery should be reflected in a different public record with an appropriate (later) date. For those transsexuals who had previously been married and had children, a revised birth certificate (showing their altered sex) would potentially cause confusion in other registers.

When a person gets divorced, you don't pretend that they were never married by removing the record of their marriage. Similarly sex change surgery does not alter the fact of a person previously living life as a member of a different sex.
Posted by Bren, Friday, 4 April 2014 2:10:03 PM
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Dear Zoe,

It is very sad indeed that you were prevented from leaving the country for 20 months, yet the root of the problem is that they don't allow you to move freely from one place to another without recording your intimate details. What genitals and chromosomes you have or don't have should have never been anybody else's business.

Same for marriage: whether you are or were married is your private/religious business and should never be recorded by the government either.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Friday, 4 April 2014 2:56:17 PM
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