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Madrid’s Controversial Rollback of Transgender and LGBTQ Rights Sparks Outrage

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Madrid’s Controversial Rollback of Transgender and LGBTQ Rights Sparks Outrage

In a move that has sparked both controversy and outrage, Madrid’s regional assembly, dominated by the conservative People’s Party (PP), has given the green light to a reform that recedes transgender and LGBTQ rights established in 2016. With the scales tipping at 80 votes in favor and 53 against, the bill garnered backing from the far-right Vox party, although Vox does not form part of the government in coalition with the PP in Madrid.

Revoking LGBTQ Protections

The controversial reform effectively dissolves penalties for discrimination against individuals predicated on sexual orientation or gender identity in the workforce. The modification also decriminalizes non-injurious assault driven by these factors. In defense of the reform, PP’s Monica Levin branded the measure a shield against ‘social engineering’ and a breach of privacy.

A Wave of Condemnation

Opposition members and activists have, however, vehemently condemned the decision. Among the critics is Carla Antonelli, a trans assembly member for the Mas Madrid party, who likened the bill to Nazi atrocities and declared that those who voted for it would have ‘blood on their hands.’

Changes in Terminology and Procedures

The legislation underwent significant lexical changes, with terms such as ‘trans people’ and ‘gender identity’ being substituted with ‘transsexuals’ and ‘transsexuality.’ Critics argue that these terms are outdated and derogatory. The reform also stripped individuals of the ability to alter names on regional documents prior to modifying the national ID. Moreover, the new law stipulates that underage trans individuals can only embark on hormone replacement therapies following assessment by both a pediatrician and a mental health professional.

Legal Challenge and National Context

In the wake of the reform’s approval, the Mas Madrid party announced its intention to contest the law before the Constitutional Court. Notwithstanding this regional rollback, Spain had enacted a national bill in December 2022 that permits transgender individuals aged 14 and above to legally alter their gender without a medical evaluation. Additionally, 14 other Spanish regions uphold laws safeguarding trans and LGBTQ rights.


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