Czech Court: Surgery still needed for gender transitioning

The Czech Republic is one of the last European countries to require surgery before allowing a trans person to officially change gender.


Written by ČTK Published on 01.04.2022 08:54:00 (updated on 01.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Brno, March 31 (ČTK) – A surgery will remain a condition for the official change in gender, according to a ruling from the Czech Constitutional Court, which has turned down a proposal to cancel several clauses of the Civil Code and the laws on specific health service and registration of population.

It is a huge disappointment for the trans community, Viktor Heumann from the Trans*parent association said in reaction to the decision. Trans*parent aims to raise awareness and promote the rights of trans and non-binary people.

The complainant warned of the violation of the right to physical and mental integrity, the right not to be subjected to maltreatment, and the right to private life. It proposed that the Civil Code clause saying that gender change occurs by a surgical act should be deleted.

The complainant also warned of a passage of the law on specific health services. It says that change in the gender of transsexual patients requires “execution of the medical acts with the purpose of changing the gender by a surgical intervention along with the simultaneous prevention of the reproduction function.”

The proposal also challenged the law on population registration, specifically the identity number.

The Constitutional Court verdict follows up a ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court that dismissed gender change in the entry to the registration office files without surgery. The Supreme Administrative Court decision pointed out the principle of society in the Czech Republic, where gender is mostly seen as man versus woman.

The courts dealt with the issue based on a person who is a biological man but subjectively claims neither the male nor female gender. The person demanded a change in the identity number from male to neutral or female.

However, the Interior Ministry did not make the change as the person failed to undergo a gender change including surgery.

According to Trans*parent, Czechia remains one of the last European countries to require total surgical removal of sexual glands, in other words, the irreversible sterility of the person, as a condition for the official change of one’s sex written in personal documents.

“It is a scandalous violation of human rights that we do not encounter almost anywhere else in Europe. It stems from a completely obsolete premise that trans people want mostly surgical changes to their genitals. The public has the impression that trans people care only about sex and sexual life. However, we primarily aim at regular everyday life,” Lenka Králová from Trans*parent said.

“There are many situations in life when one has to legitimize themselves with their personal IDs, and it is much more than the procedures with state authorities. As a result, trans people instantly reveal their most intimate life and health problem to complete strangers,” Heumann said.

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