The Australian government wants to further accommodate the country’s gay, lesbian and transgendered citizens—at least when it comes to filling out paperwork. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recently announced that it may join the U.S. and Britain in adding the terms “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” to its passport applications. That way, same-sex couples won’t have to decide which one of them is “mother” and which is “father.”
This follows a move announced in September where a third gender option was added for passport applicants. Now, an X appears next to the gender slot on the passports of those who have selected “indeterminate” as their sex. Furthermore, people no longer need sex-reassignment surgery to be placed in their preferred gender category.
Family rights groups are railing against these changes, contending they erode the traditional family model. “It would break down the understanding of a family and family relationships,” Terri Kelliher of the Australian Family Association told the Herald Sun newspaper. But that might not be the issue for same-sex couples. Instead, it could prove difficult to decide which parent is number one.