The last parliamentary session of the year saw the proposed constitutional amendment to make the Magna Carta’s text entirely gender-neutral pass with near-universal support. Much of the debate regarding the amendment took place between party leaders and parliamentary whips behind the closed doors of Tairagao Palace, so only a few voices of dissent – all from the Liberal side – voted against the bill.
As predicted, extra changes were made to the amendment proposal at the last minute: to modify the term length of magistrates across all jurisdictions from two to three years, to modify the royal style of address (which was recently changed from Royal Highness to Plushen Majesty through royal decree), and to make mention of the Federal Union of Juclandian Lands in the first article of the Constitution, mirroring the constitution of Juclandia. The latter two changes were requested by King Tarik and communicated to Parliament through the Prime Minister, while the first was agreed through consensus by the two parliamentary blocs.
Now counting with parliamentary assent, the amendment proposal will be subjected to a public referendum across Sabia and Verona, which must be held on or before January 22nd. The Electoral Commission has already begun preparations and will announce the date of the referendum shortly. It will be the second referendum held in Sabia and Verona since Haronos, and the first amendment to the present constitution, adopted in 2017.
Of the twenty-one MPs present in the session, only three voted against the bill, and only one voted against the main proposal aimed at gender neutrality in the constitution’s text: former Supreme Court justice Dímeros Grenouille. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Grenouille justified his position on legal grounds, stating that gender-neutral Spanish is “not yet accepted” by the language’s regulatory organ, the Royal Spanish Academy.
Among those who celebrated the wide margin by which the proposal passed was Justice Secretary Kastor Gevras Drigy, who is nonbinary and uses neutral pronouns in Spanish, the co-official language of the Kingdom. Gevras Drigy is the driving force behind the amendment.
They said: “Of course I am happy for the result, but it was also widely expected. Most Valtirians understand the need for an inclusive, non-sexist language that reflects the values we already uphold as a society. For this reason I am confident the referendum will be a mere formality and we will see this amendment be introduced in the Constitution shortly.”
For his part, Prime Minister Cerwyn celebrated the consensus formed around the proposal, which was attained following weeks of talks behind closed doors with the Opposition. Shounn Virny, leader of the Liberals and Cerwyn’s opposite, likewise congratulated the MPs from both parties and Gevras Drigy in particular.