Australian Court Rules for Third Gender Category 'Non Specific'

| by Michael Allen
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The Supreme Court of New South Wales in Australia recently ruled that people do not have to be legally classified as male or female, but can be listed as "non specific" on legal records.

The ruling was issued on May 31 in favor of gender-neutral activist "Norrie" who filed a lawsuit against the New South Wales Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Norrie said the New South Wales Registrar had violated the Australian Sex Discrimination Act and the United Nations Charter of Human Rights which supports a person’s right to decide their own social identity.

"I am delighted with the verdict and the comprehensive judgment. Finally the legal reification of the gender binary has been set aside, and the law accepts that it must deal fairly with all people, male, female, or otherwise," Norrie told Gay Star News after the ruling.

Norrie, who only goes by a first name, says the law should also provide a solution for those who do not fit into the "male" or 'female" categories.

According to CBC News, Norrie is self-referred to by gender-neutral pronouns "zie" (instead of he/she) or "hir" (instead of him/her).

Norrie's Facebook page is titled "Norrie MAy-welby" and includes pictures of the activist in gay pride parades. The "about" section lists "Ecumenism" as Norrie's religion.

Some observers believe the "non specific" category may spread to other government and non-government agencies in Australia.

Sources: CBC News, Gay Star News, Facebook page