Press Release: Subject : «Historical Decision of the Civil Court whereby it was decided that birth certificate of a trans person can change without the prerequisite surgical procedure.»

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Subject : «Historical Decision of the Civil Court whereby it was decided that birth certificate of a trans person  can  change without the prerequisite surgical procedure.»

Athens, June 30 2016

The Transgender Support Association ( S.Y.D. ) recognized ngo for the protection of the rights of the trans community , with this press release, provides a notification of a very positive and important development in the jurisprudence and specifically in the area of legal recognition of gender identity.

Specifically, in the case of trans man before the Civil Court, who had submitted in late April of 2015 a  judicial request with the support of SYD and whose case was assigned to Legal Counsel and Ombudsman of the Citizen and Business Division of Attica, Vassilis Sotiropoulos, and who without having undergone through sex reassignment surgery, it was decided that an alteration of the gender and the birth name of the individual was to be undertaken so as to be in alignment with the individuals gender identity.

The Civil Court having taken into consideration the entire historical background of the trans individual (who was living at an early age as his desired gender, had undergone mastectomy surgery, had a relevant diagnosis by a psychiatrist, was currently under a hormone process, in addition to taking into account the very serious incident stemming from discrimination which  led him from being excluded from his training position), along with taking  into account, furthermore, all the parameters related to gender identity as a fundamental dimension of the personality of a person protected which is protected by Greek law as stated within a number of the decisions emanating from amongst other the European Court of Human Rights, Recommendation CM/Rec (2010)(5) of the Committee of Ministers of the Member States of the Council of Europe on combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity , as well as the recommendations of the Ombudsman, decided that in accordance to its decision no. 418/2016 although the individual had not undergone surgical sterilization surgery on the genitals:

[…] At the discretion of the Court, this should not be considered a hindrance for the changes requested to the birth certificate. Specifically, compulsory sterilization, whereby surgical sex reassignment resulting in the removal of the genitalia of a female to male arena and vice versa, as a precondition for recognition of a change in gender for transgendered individual, as the applicant is deemed to be, is an disproportionate prerequisite and practice and infringes Article 8 of the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) according to which «Everyone has the right to respect for private and family life.» Also , the above obligations are in direct conflict with the right to equality and non-discrimination  laid out in Articles 2 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). […]

We consider the above decision, even though the court took into account the medical procedures undertaken by the individual, to be a very positive and historic change in the law for the modification of documentation for trans individuals, as it deemed enforced sterilization of the genitals was a excessive demand and practice for the right of recognition for the real identity of a trans individual , and that the above violates Article 8 of the ECHR which in turn refers to the right to respect for private and family life of any person.

The warmest of congratulations must go out to Sotiropoulos Vassilis, the legal counsel who handled the case, and of course the individuals presiding, namely the magistrate , Mrs Sophia Konstantinidou , who opened an important road to overturning the unequal and abusive treatment that trans people face in spectrum of public and private life , a starting point for which is the inability to obtain legal recognition of gender identity without the prerequisite of necessary sterilization .

We furthermore believe , that this historic decision , must be a potential starting point for the State to proceed directly and without delay, in legislating on the legal recognition of gender identity, removing all medical and other prerequisites, and using the as a reference point recent laws passed by Malta, Denmark, Ireland and Norway , and particularly Resolution 2048 (2015) of the Council of Europe , which urges Member States to:

* To adopt quick , easy , transparent and fully accessible legal procedures for the recognition of gender identity, abolish sterilization and other compulsory medical treatment, as well as a mental health diagnosis, as a necessary legal requirement to recognize a person’s gender identity in laws regulating the procedure for changing a name and registered gender and based only on self-determination;

* remove any restrictions on the right of transgender people to remain in an existing marriage upon recognition of their gender; ensure that spouses or children do not lose certain rights;

* to have transparent and accessible procedures for underage persons , taking into account the interests of children and the improved development of their personality

* consider including a third gender option in identity documents for those who seek it in identity documents for those persons wish.

* Have fully accessible health services for trans individuals where they are not labeled as mentally ill, while ensuring stigma-free access to necessary medical treatment.

Furthermore:

* To amend the anti-discrimination laws that make a clear indication of the gender identity and sex characteristics in the work spaces, provision of services and goods, self-employment, education, health, housing, and to add the gender characteristics in the legislation for inciting hatred.

* To provide safeguards which protect gender identity and sex characteristics within the school environment

* To include a provision for refugees and immigrants on the grounds of gender identity and sex characteristics.

* To prohibit stigmatizing surgeries on intersex which are conducted without their consent.

Finally, the recommendations of the National Commission Human Rights and the Ombudsman for Political matters which are geared in the same direction of the legal recognition of gender identity processes that should be fast, easy, transparent and fully accessible, without medical or other conditions, based on self-determination should also be take into account.

The Greek justice system made its own historic step. Now what remains to be seen is if the Government will continue to take steps it in this direction, implementing its commitments.

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

TRANSGENDER SUPPORT ASSOCIATION ( S.Y.D. )

 

 

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~ από Σωματείο Υποστήριξης Διεμφυλικών στο Ιουλίου 1, 2016.

 
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