Citizens for Justice and Peace

Portugal’s parliament passes gender change law

20, Jul 2018

Portugal’s parliament recently passed a law permitting citizens aged 16 and above to change their name and gender without requiring a medical report that indicates “identity disruption,” AFP reported. This makes Portugal “the sixth European country to grant the right to self-determination of transgender identity…without the guardianship of a third party and without a diagnosis of identity disruption,” Sandra Cunha, a Left Bloc legislator said. In the parliamentary debate prior to the law’s passage, Cunha contended that “nobody needs a third party to know if they are a man or a woman, a boy or a girl”. The name and gender change is to be independent of a potential gender reassignment surgery. A law that went into force in 2011 mandated that transgender citizens needed a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. Portugal’s conservative President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had previously vetoed an earlier version of the law, seeking that a medical report be mandated for minors aged 16 to 18. He had still support not considering transgender identity as “an abnormal pathology or mental situation”. The law was amended accordingly. It also bars surgery on inter-sex babies, who are born with female and male reproductive organs, to allow them to select their own gender later.



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