Transgender Macedonians Hail ‘Turning Point’ European Court Ruling

The European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, has ruled that Macedonia’s requirement that people to undergo gender reassignment surgery before their gender marker on ID documents can be changed is a violation of human rights.

The judgment, last Thursday, said deficiencies in Macedonia’s laws concerning modifying gender on official identification documents infringed the right of Macedonians to respect for their private life. But two of the seven judges on the case dissented, saying the ruling followed a “trend” in favour of protecting transgender people’s human rights rather than the law as it stands.

The judgment may have repercussions beyond Macedonia. A Kosovo citizen, Blert Morina, who submitted a case to Kosovo’s Constitutional Court last year, is in the middle of his own legal battle to change his name and gender on Kosovo identification documents.

“Macedonia’s case could be a huge turning point for the future of the transgender community all over the Balkans,” said Morina, who is the director for the Center of Equality and Liberty in Kosovo. In April 2018, Kosovo’s Civil Registration Agency rejected Morina’s request to change his name and gender marker. His lawyer, Rina Kika, said he had requested a constitutional review of the agency’s decision last July.

“Kosovo institutions should … comply with the recent judgement of the ECHR’s X v FYROM and establish effective and accessible procedures for transgender people who wish to obtain legal recognition of their gender identity,” Kika said. Read more via Balkan Insight