Where will all this end? Argentina has now made sex-change surgery a legal right for its citizens. It will be available to them under their public or private health care plans. The Senate of the country voted this in on Wednesday and President Cristina Fernandez is expected to sign the measure into law.

Argentina leads the charge in the Latin American world’s attempt to reconfigure human nature. It became the first nation in the region to legally redefine marriage by incorporating same-sex unions within the definition two years ago. This gender-change law was the next step demanded by the gay lobby in the country.

One of the Senators, Miguel Pichetto, said during the debate that “This is truly a human right: the right to happiness.” He made no effort to define happiness or whether or not he saw any legal limits to the rights people might demand to ensure their happiness. Once again it would seem that sentiment is driving reason out of the room and men and women are being redefined on the basis of feelings rather than the objective reality of human nature.

As Sam Favate suggests in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, with this Argentinian law we may be crossing the next threshold in the onward march to a brave new world. “Everyone’s talking about President Obama’s support for the legality of same-sex marriage,” he said, “but what’s the next frontier? To some, Argentina might have an answer.”

The new law gives people the legal right to officially change their gender without having to go to court for a judge’s approval, and obliges health care companies to provide them with surgery or hormone therapy on demand. Where it leaves medical staff who might have conscientious objections to these procedures remains to be seen.

The law was passed by a vote of 55 to 0. There was just one abstention but more than a dozen senators absented themselves from the chamber for the vote. The same margin approved a “death with dignity” law earlier in the day, giving terminally ill patients and their families more power to make end-of-life decisions. Families or individuals will not now need to get a judge to order doctors to end life-support for people who are dying or in a permanent vegetative state. 

Michael Kirke was born in Ireland. In 1966 he graduated from University College Dublin (History and Politics). In that year he began working on the sub-editorial desk of The Evening...