Sweeping Transgender Bill of Rights Approved in ArgentinaS

By the unanimous consent of all voting lawmakers, Argentina yesterday approved a gender rights package that will allow all adult citizens to change their sex at will — even without undergoing surgery or hormone replacement therapy.

However, should a person opt to make physical changes to their appearance, those treatments will be fully covered by their health care providers, whether public or private.

The vote came on a day of celebration for equal rights advocates in the US who have long waited for a sitting president to support the right of same-sex couples to marry. However, gender rights remain in the dark ages, comparitively, with many hoops transgender Americans must jump through in order to have their sex change legally recognized.

"This law is going to enable many of us to have light, to come out of the darkness, to appear," openly gay Argentinian legislator Osvaldo Lopez is quoted as saying. "There are many people in our country who also deserve the power to exist."

Underage residents of the country will also be able to take advantage of the new rights, with the consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez, has already acknowledged her support for the bill as it heads to her desk for signing.

Argentina legalized same-sex marriage two years ago — the first Latin American nation to do so.

[photo via AP]