In March Queensland’s Attorney-General’s Department released a discussion paper entitled: Registering Life Events: Recognising sex and gender diversity and same-sex families.

In its submission to this review, the ACL has stressed that: “a register of ‘births’ ‘deaths’ and ‘marriages’ is a register of historical legal fact. It is not a register of present personal identity, gender orientation or sexual preferences.”

In contrast to the objective fact of biological sex, ‘gender identity’ refers to a subjective perception or feeling of being male or female, both or neither. While some people may decide to adopt an ‘identity’ that differs from their sex, this has no bearing on the biological sex characteristics of a child at birth.[1]

The ACL submission argued strongly that the register needs to be accurate and factual for many reasons.

Statistics obtained through the BDMR inform the planning and implementation of government programs, particularly with regard to health and welfare. There are many services thatprovide for the vulnerability of natal females – particularly arising from women’s distinct reproductive functions. The erasure of biology results in a framework which makes it impossible to meet these needs. This matters for women because they do not wish to find themselves in unsafe situations at times of vulnerability. The submission challenged the notion of ‘sex-change’. Through surgery and hormone therapy, it is possible to mimic the secondary sex characteristics of the opposite sex but this does not, in fact, change the natal sex of a person. Their chromosomes remain XX or XY. Nor should it change the historical record of their birth.

The submission strongly argued that children should be protected. They have a right to know their biological origins and not be confused regarding which parent is their mother or father. Further, sex-change for children is inappropriate. They must not be subjected to practices such as puberty blockers or surgery until they attain the age of majority at 18 when they can make informed and autonomous decisions.

Submissions can be sent until 19thApril – can we encourage you to contribute to this important public discussion. You can also complete an online survey.

  • Fill out the survey form here in 3 minutes and make your view heard.

Suggested answers for the survey:

Q 1:tick Male and Female only, and ask: If a person can change their sex can they also change their age or their race?

Qs 2-7: “Disagree”.

Q 8:“Unsure.” Possible comment: First and foremost, a Birth Certificate must be an accurate record of the person’s genetic, biological heritage, which is vital for health reasons, inheritance and determining many rights, privileges, protections and access to services over a person’s lifetime. A Birth Certificate must record all biological contributors to the child’s birth, including biological mother and father, gamete donors (sperm, ova) surrogate mother as well as custodial parents and siblings. Birth Certificates are to identify the individual person, not just to record child-parent relationships/arrangements established by adults with custody of the child.

  • Make a submission by sending it to
    • Email: [email protected]
    • Or by post to: BDM Act Review Team, PO Box 15188, City East, Brisbane. QLD 4002

The Government’s Discussion Paper can be downloaded here.

READ ACL's Submission here.

[1] 26 March 2018.