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.
For example, Denmark and Argentina removed medical requirements altogether. In Malta, a law passed in 2015 – based on a case that originated in a case at the European Court of Human Rights – states that transgender people can legally self-declare their own gender without any medical assessments. It also provides specific guidelines for making transgender children safe and welcome in schools.
Blanketly denying transgender children the possibility of legal recognition in their preferred gender risks condemning them to stigmatization, exclusion, and discrimination during some of their most important formative years, including during their education.
If Greece’s justice minister and parliament want to make Greece amongst the leaders with respect to transgender legal recognition, they should make the necessary amendments to bring this legislation closer in line with Greece’s international and European human rights obligations and remove the bill’s fundamental flaws.
You may be interested
Longest Balkan railway tunnel opens in Greece (VIDEO)makis - Feb 20, 2018
The longest tunnel in Greece and the Balkans was finally opened to rail traffic this week after years of construction.…
Turkey renews the NAVTEX that blocks the drillings in the Cypriot EEZ!makis - Feb 20, 2018
The illegal NAVTEX in the sea area of Block 3 in the Cypriot EEZ has been renewed by the Turkish…
Is Italian ENI drilling ship abandoning Cyprus after Turkish aggression?makis - Feb 20, 2018
The SAIPEM 12000 drilling ship from Italian energy company ENI is preparing to depart the “Supa” target in sea block…