NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages vs Norrie

The New South Wales Court of Appeal ruled that people do not have to be officially registered as male or female, after Sydney activist ‘Norrie’ (below) contested this law. The judges panel ruled “as a matter of construction … the word sex does not bear a binary meaning of ‘male’ or ‘female.’” This means that transgender, intersex and other queer-identified Australians are no longer forced to fit themselves into a narrow gender binary.

“This is the first decision that recognises that ‘sex’ is not binary – it is not only ‘male’ or ‘female’ – and that we should have recognition of that in the law and in our legal documents. This sets a precedent. In future, government departments and courts may adopt the reasoning found here.”

– Emily Christie, Norrie’s solicitor from DLA Piper
Norrie is a gender non-binary person who has long hair tied up, with shaved sides. They wear a purple top and they are smiling

Update 2014

This New South Wales decision was subsequently appealed and it went to the High Court. On the 2nd of April 2014 the High Court ruled that New South Wales law can indeed recognise non-specific genders other than male or female. 

See the legal document below, High Court ruling: NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s