Prime Minister Apollo Cerwyn has unveiled a plan to amend the constitutional text to make it completely gender-neutral. The amendment proposal will be put through Parliament in its last session of the year, to be held on 23 December. If Parliament approves it, the amendment will have to be subjected to a referendum across all Sabia and Verona within a 30 day period.
The proposal would replace all nouns, adjectives and pronouns in the Constitution’s text with gender-neutral variants. The constitution of Sabia and Verona is written in Spanish, the legal language of the Kingdom. In September Parliament approved a law regulating gender-neutral Spanish as the official version of the language of the Kingdom, and mandating its use across all institutions of Sabia and Verona.
Gender-neutral or inclusive Spanish (lenguaje inclusivo) has been proposed by academics and feminist advocates as a way to erradicate sexism in language and society. In recent years, the use of the gender-neutral language has been regulated and officialized in academic, social and state institutions across Spanish-speaking countries and especially in Argentina, one of Sabia and Verona’s neighboring nations.
The other official language of Sabia and Verona, Sabian, does not take gender into account in its grammar.
The present Sabioveronese constitution was written keeping in mind the possibility of both male and female Monarchs and government officials, making reference to the King or Queen of the Valtirians, or to elected officials such as gobernador o gobernadora ([male or female] governor), but these efforts have been deemed insufficient by non-binary citizens of the Kingdom, many of whom have also occupied elected posts, such as former Gonn governor Suipom Goyo or present Justice Secretary Kastor Gevras Drigy. The latter has been a particularly fierce advocate of the change, and was author of the law regulating gender-neutral language in the Kingdom.
“It’s a natural and necessary step,” said Gevras Drigy. “Although we recognize and commend the efforts made by the Constituent Assembly members in 2017 to make the text of the Constitution as inclusive as possible, to both male and female citizens, these efforts left out a large portion of our citizenry that does not identify within the gender binary. The proposed amendment will make sure no citizen of Sabia and Verona is left out.”
Gevras Drigy themself was a member of the Constituent Assembly that wrote the present Constitution, but said the need for gender-neutral language wasn’t “as widespread and universally acknowledged” as it is today.
Sources close to the government claim the Opposition has already been notified of the proposed amendment and consensus has already been reached on it. A two-thirds or “special” majority is required for the proposal to pass through Parliament.
Should both Parliament and the electorate approve the amendment, it will be the first time the Constitution is amended in any way since it was approved in 2017. For this reason, the same sources confided on the Phonograph that they expect last-minute additions to be made to the amendment proposal, as it would allow small changes to be made and included in the same reform package. Rumored additions to the amendment include the inclusion of the Federal Union of Juclandian Lands to the first articles of the text, in concordance to the Juclandian constitution.