Spain: Trans rights supporters on hunger strike over new law

MADRID (AP) — Transgender rights activists in Spain said Wednesday they are going on hunger strike until the ruling left-wing coalition submits draft legislation to allow gender self-determination without a doctor’s diagnosis.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialists have been accused of blocking a draft for a new transgender rights law proposed by their minority coalition partner, the far-left United We Can.

Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo, a Socialist, has said that allowing freedom to choose one’s registered gender without a gender dysphoria diagnosis and treatment could undermine the rights of other people, especially women.

Gathering at the gates of the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the Spanish parliament in Madrid, activists announced that 70 of them, including transgender people and their relatives, would start hunger-striking from Wednesday.

Mar Cambrollé, from Plataforma Trans, said she was displeased with the Socialists’ arguments to snub the draft bill from United We Can, which took the Equality portfolio when the government was formed last year.

“They are not going to put locks on freedom. Placing conditions on self-determination is just not self-determination,” she said.

Calvo has suggested instead a new law that improves the protection of rights for all LGBT people. On Wednesday, she said the law proposal would reach the parliament “soon.”

But Cambrollé and other activists claim that would amount to “violence” against transgender people.

“It would mean to deny that we are a political subject on our own and to make invisible the structural causes that give rise to discrimination,” the activist said. “Gays and lesbians don’t have to change their names, gays and lesbians don’t have to take hormones.”

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