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Spanish trans activists launch nationwide hunger strike until government recognizes their rights

Demonstration of struggle transgender, transsexual and intersex at Pelai street, near to Plaza Catalunya on October 17, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.
Demonstration of struggle transgender, transsexual and intersex at Pelai street, near to Plaza Catalunya on October 17, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.Photo: Shutterstock

Spanish transgender people are launching a hunger strike until the left-wing socialist government recognizes their right to self-determination.

So far, at least 70 activists have vowed to participate if the government doesn’t introduce legislation into Parliament by next Wednesday.

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Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialists are being accused of burying a draft bill from a minority coalition partner, the far-left United We Can. The bill would allow trans people to self-identify without needing a doctor’s diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

“They are not going to put locks on freedom. Placing conditions on self-determination is just not self-determination,” Mar Cambrollé from Plataforma Trans told ABC News.

Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo, a Socialist, has said that the move would undermine women’s rights, but that a bill to “improve the protections of rights for all LGBT people” would be introduced into parliament instead.

“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,” Cambrollé countered. “Gays and lesbians don’t have to change their names, gays and lesbians don’t have to take hormones.”

Laws in the U.S. vary from state to state when it comes to documentation of someone’s gender identity. While some states allow for self-determination, others require more extensive medical documentation.

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