Australia High Court: Government must list petitioner’s sex as ‘non-specific’

April 7, 2014

The case is NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v. Norrie (Apr. 2, 2014):

The appropriate record of [Norrie’s] change of sex was from “male” (as it may be taken to have previously been recorded outside of New South Wales) to “non-specific”. To make that record in the Register would be no more than to recognise, as the Act does, that not everyone is male or female ….

The court reports that “Norrie was born in Scotland with male reproductive organs,” but in 1989 underwent a “sex affirmation procedure,” defined as “a surgical procedure involving the alteration of a person’s reproductive organs carried out … for the purpose of assisting a person to be considered to be a member of the opposite sex, or … to correct or eliminate ambiguities relating to the sex of the person.” “Norrie considered that the surgery did not resolve her sexual ambiguity.”

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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