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Dublin: 1°C Monday 29 November 2021

Lydia Foy settles transgender birth cert case against the State

The settlement was made following a “firm intention” by Government to introduce a Gender Recognition Bill.

Dr Lydia Foy, who settled her court action today.
Dr Lydia Foy, who settled her court action today.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

IRISH TRANSGENDER WOMAN Lydia Foy has settled her long-running action against the State in a bid to have her birth certificate in the female gender.

The settlement was made following a Government commitment that it is its “firm intention” to introduce a Gender Recognition Bill in the Oireachtas and have it enacted “as soon as possible” in 2015.

Female gender 

Foy’s case was due for hearing on 4 November next, but was taken out of the list today when Nicholas Butler SC, counsel for the State, told the High Court that it was the Government’s “expressed intention” to enact legislation that would allow Foy to obtain a birth certificate reflecting her female gender.

He said the Government intended to publish the Gender Recognition Bill by the end of the year and added:

It is the firm intention of the Government to introduce the Bill into the Oireachtas and have it enacted as soon as possible in 2015.

Based on this commitment, Bill Shipsey SC, counsel for Dr Foy, said the case should be taken out of the list for hearing on 4 November but should be listed for mention again on 29 January 2015.

Lengthy battle 

Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) who represented Dr Foy throughout her lengthy legal struggle said it was a welcome development.

FLAC Senior Solicitor Michael Farrell said it was a “welcome, if overdue” conclusion to 17 years of litigation by Dr Foy to get herself recognised in the gender she has lived for the last 24 years.

He noted it was also a major step forward for the transgender community in the State, who have been waiting for legal recognition for many years, he said.

Farrell said Dr Foy was very pleased at this agreement which ended 21 years of fruitless correspondence with state agencies and lengthy litigation just to get a birth certificate showing her female gender.

The Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, Kevin Humphreys welcomed today’s settlement, stating that he is looking forward to the progression of the Bill though the Oireachtas.

This legislation is long overdue. The Programme for Government includes a commitment that transgender persons will be provided with legal recognition. Once the legislation is enacted, it will mean that a person will have their acquired gender fully recognised for all purposes, including dealings with the State, public bodies, and civil and commercial society.

Read: Irish transgender woman Lydia Foy nominated for European Diversity Award>

Read: Gender Recognition Bill is “vital” says Equality Authority>

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