Netherlands: Dutch Court Signals Need for Gender Neutral Option

A Dutch court has found that the exclusive option of ‘male’ or ‘female’ on official documents -  including birth certificates - is too restrictive and should be revised, a ruling being praised by intersex and transgender activists.

The ruling, by the Limburg District Court of Roermond, which referenced precedent in India and Nepal, suggests the Dutch legislature should provide a way for citizens to legally identify as neither male nor female if they prefer. 

The case was brought by a 57-year old applicant whose gender could not be determined at birth. The parents decided at the time to register their child as male. Years later, the applicant formally changed their gender to female, but over time found they did not identify as female either, so asked the court to recognize a third gender identity.

In a 10-page ruling, the court drew extensively on domestic and international standards and treaties relevant to gender neutral options in reaching the conclusion that the perception of how the applicant self-identifies should be decisive. Read more via HRW