Over the weekend we learned about Norrie, Australia’s first non-female, non-male, completely gender-neutral civilian as recognized by law. And then some high-up government officials got wind of her “sex not specific” certificate, and canceled it.
Norrie says the decision is a breach of human rights. “I was devastated by the news,” Norrie said. “I felt killed. It’s a hideously humiliating position to find myself in and makes a mockery of my human rights. I feel completely violated by the [NSW] Attorney-General’s office.”
New South Wales Greens MP Lee Rhiannon questioned the Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, in parliament today. Mr Hatzistergos denied he was behind the decision. “At no time did I – well I didn’t speak to the registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages but I’m advised also in relation to my office – make any direction to the registrar in relation to the decision that he took,” he said. However, Mr Hatzistergos said the Director-General of his department discussed the matter with the registrar and a decision was reached to obtain legal advice. “My office was advised of that legal advice on Monday,” he said. “Advice from the Crown solicitor is that the registrar may only issue a recognised details certificate or new birth certificate following a change of sex in either male or female gender. The registrar has accepted this advice and has directed that any application for recognised details certificates or changes to sex comply with this advice.”
Which still doesn’t answer the question about whether the government will recognize Norrie — born a man, had hormone therapy and surgery to become a woman, but no longer takes hormones and identifies as neither gender — as a man or a woman.