Greece Should Do Better on Transgender Legal Recognition

This week, Greece’s parliament will start debating proposed legislation to amend the country’s law on legal gender recognition – or the ability of transgender people to be legally recognized according to their gender identity. The bill includes a lot that represents an enormous improvement on the status quo, but also retains some fundamental flaws that members of parliament should remove before it progresses.

The legislation, if passed in its current form, would no longer require applicants to undergo medical procedures or tests in order to change their legal gender – a marked improvement. The majority of European countries still require medical tests, procedures, or certification for transgender people to be legally recognized – a humiliating and unnecessary violation of their privacy.

But alongside this progressive shift, the Greek bill also retains some profound and discriminatory flaws. These include a judicial process where a judge gets to decide if a person looks enough like their gender identity to be legally recognized, an age requirement of 17 that arbitrarily denies transgender children important affirmation of their identity, and a requirement that applicants must be single.

Countries around the world have changed their policies on legal gender to ones based on rights and a person’s self-identification, not the approval of any doctor, judge or other authority. Read more via HRW