The debate lasted two and a half hours and was punctuated by speeches on the difficulties faced by transgender people in Argentina. On Thursday, June 24, the Argentine Senate adopted by an overwhelming majority (fifty-five votes in favor, one vote against and six abstentions) the Diana Sacayan-Lohana Berkins law, named after two activists killed for their commitment to human rights. trans. The adoption of this text is an important step: henceforth, any entity dependent on the State (central or local administration, public company) must have at least 1% of transgender people in its workforce and reserve positions for them.
Trans people have the option of registering if they wish to join the public sector. The text also provides incentives for private companies to also give them their chance: large companies can thus benefit from reduced employer contributions or priority access to public contracts for a period of one year, and small and medium-sized businesses for two years.
The Senate vote took place under the watchful eyes of LGBT rights groups. In an atmosphere echoing that which the Senate had known when it voted in favor of the voluntary termination of pregnancy in December 2020, many activists gathered in front of the upper house of Parliament. When the results of the vote were announced, a clamor arose from the crowd, and the activists expressed their relief.
“It fills us with emotion that the law is adopted, said Thiago Galvan, vice-president of the LGBT League of Argentine provinces, daily Pagina 12. This law constitutes recognition of our historic struggle, of our right to be full citizens and to choose our life projects. “ The organizations insist, however, that the law is only the beginning, and that many battles remain to be waged for the approximately 12,000 trans people to live better in Argentina.
Obstacles that remain
Although the law has granted them since 2012 the right to change their name and gender at marital status and to change their sex through surgery, transgender people still encounter “Obstacles in their access to fundamental rights”, explained Ana Almiron, senator of the Frente de Todos (Front de tous), the party of left-wing president Alberto Fernandez.
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