LGBT activists celebrate after a vote giving the final approval to a law that will make it easier for people to self-identify as transgender, at Spain's Parliament in Madrid, Spain, February 16, 2023. REUTERS/Susana Vera | SUSANA VERA


Spanish Members of Parliament voted through a transgender law letting 16 year olds and older change gender on their Identity card eventhough similar measures elsewhere have sparked division over the complexities of the issue.

The law, which passed by 191 votes in favour, 60 against with 91 abstentions, makes Spain one of the few nations to allow people to change their gender on their national identity card with a simple declaration. In Europe, Denmark was the first country to grant such a right in 2014.

The vote was the last hurdle for legislation that has caused a major rift within Spain's left-wing coalition, as the country gears up for a general election later this year.

The legislation is a flagship project of the equality ministry, which is held by Podemos, the radical left-wing junior partner in the Socialist-led coalition.

"This is one of the most important laws of this legislature... we have taken a giant step forward," Equality Minister Irene Montero told MPs ahead of the vote.

"This law recognises the right of trans people to self-determine their gender identity, it depathologises trans people. Trans people are not sick people, they are just people."