COMMENT: The measure is a victory for equality campaigners in Australia, a nation with somewhat of a mixed record on gay issues. Yet, Finance Minister Penny Wong and Greens party leader Bob Brown are openly gay.
Ambiguous issues of gender became news in 2009 when world-champion runner Caster Semenya of South Africa was barred from competition by the International Association of Athletics Federations pending tests to verify that she is a woman. She was cleared to compete again in 2010.
Canada currently permits a different gender only for post-surgical transgenders, while New Zealand relies on a family court to judge a person's gender.