A draft law allows over-14s to change their legal gender with no medical diagnosis
In Spain they call it La Ley Trans — a draft law that would allow anyone over the age of 14 to change their legal gender with no medical diagnosis. The debate has been furious and nasty, and the arguments will be familiar to anyone who has been following proceedings in the UK. On one hand, Contra El Borrado de las Mujeres — a women’s advocacy group sporting similar colours to Woman’s Place UK — has called for caution. Meanwhile, supporters of the bill have protested in their own way. Last year they hung an effigy of Carmen Calvo from a tree.
At the time, Calvo was First Deputy Prime Minister in Pedro Sánchez’s coalition government, and already a known heretic. This week she told El Mundo that “La Ley Trans can destroy all equality legislation,” adding that “there is no fundamental right to gender self-determination”.
To the terf-finders general out there, this is surely blasphemy. But Calvo is no transphobe. She understands the difference between protecting the rights of trans people — like me — and attacking the foundations of human society. Calvo was clinical:
We must distinguish between the need for the state to respond to trans people and a queer theory that threatens to destroy all the progressive laws that have established equality between men and women.Carmen Calvo
Absolutely. But this is a political battle within the governing coalition. Calvo and Sánchez are from the PSOE — the mainstream Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party. The Minister for Equalities, Irene Montero, hails from Podemos – a junior party in government, but one with the power to drive La Ley Trans through parliament.
Montero retorted by proclaiming that La Ley Trans “will be law”, while a Podemas spokesperson accused Calvo of attempting to “torpedo” the bill.
Emotions are running high, but the question we must keep asking is why these bills are so important to so many politicians. At a time when there is real war in Europe, why are they fighting to impose an ideology that replaces fact with feeling, using emotion rather than reason?
La Ley Trans is particularly worrying because it opens the door to children to change their legal sex. Those under 16 would need parental consent, but they could take the matter to court if there was disagreement. In my view, children are too young to understand the consequences: being a man or a woman is far more than a feeling. I wonder if the same could be said for Montero. At 34 years old, does she grasp the value of the protections she seems eager to abandon?
For the sake of women and children in Spain, she should stop criticising Calvo and start listening to her. Sadly, I cannot see it happening. This is a debate between reason and emotion, and Montero is squarely on the side of the latter.