Vic gender reform passes first hurdle

Victorian trans man Jeremy Wiggins can't alter his birth certificate, which says he's a woman.
Victorian trans man Jeremy Wiggins can't alter his birth certificate, which says he's a woman.

A bill allowing transgender and intersex people to change their birth certificates without having surgery has passed its first hurdle in Victorian parliament.

The lower house voted 56-27 in favour of the bill on Thursday and it now moves to the upper house where it's expected to be debated in the final week of August.

The Liberal-National opposition has indicated it will not support the bill, meaning the government will need the support of three crossbench MPs to get it through the Legislative Council.

Reason Party leader Fiona Patten has indicated she will support the bill, which if passed will allow applicants to choose their birth certificate gender as male, female or another non-binary option.

Children will also be able to apply to change their gender.

"A birth certificate is the first document a person has - it says who you are, and where you belong," Equality Australia's chief executive Anna Brown said in a statement on Thursday.

"We still face a fight in the Legislative Council - and we'll be contacting those MPs to let them know how important this reform is."

Jeremy Wiggins, 37, has lived as a transgender man for more than 15 years but under current legislation, has to have a hysterectomy if he wants to alter his birth certificate.

"I'm the father of twins ... and I'm listed on their birth certificates as a father," Mr Wiggins told AAP.

"On my birth certificate, I'm a female, on their birth certificates I'm a father. So across these two documents, I'm considered a female father."

Equality Minister Martin Foley said the reform is about fairness.

"This should not be controversial in 2019," he told reporters.

"The sky is not going to fall down when this legislation is passed."

It's the government's second attempt to pass the bill after it was voted down last year.

If successful it will bring the state in line with the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, SA, Tasmania and WA.

Australian Associated Press