Gender change in Czechia could soon be free of punitive pre-conditions

According to a new draft law about changing gender designations in government-issued documents, transgender people will simply need a certification from a sexologist. However, many health professionals oppose the change.

Sofija Kordic
Sofija Kordic NewsMavens, Czechia
Gender change in Czechia could soon be free of punitive pre-conditions - NewsMavens
transgender flag, torbakhopper, Flickr

Why this story matters:

Czechia's current procedure is one of the most restrictive in the EU. The country still requires trans people to seek mandatory sterilization before changing their gender. Additionally, they must first undergo gender confirmation surgery and divorce their spouses or same-sex registered partners.

The European Court for Human Rights ruled last year that the sterilization requirement was a violation of Article Eight of The European Convention on Human Rights, which states "everyone has the right to a private and family life."

However, the law change has stirred up some negative reactions.

Leading Czech sexologists didn’t greet the draft law with enthusiasm. Urologist Jiří Zvěřina stated: "We doctors who have been helping these people for decades do not consider it discriminatory or inhumane if castration is a condition for legal sex change."

Details from the story:

  • If a transgender person wants the Czech health system to take them seriously, they must follow the expected behaviour pattern, for example, tell stories in the doctor’s office of how they played with dolls instead of cars during their childhood, or the opposite. 
  • Many wonder if the new law will protect the current right to have gender confirmation surgery covered by Czech health insurance, since the new draft law allows changes of gender without surgical pre-conditions.
  • Czechia is one of 22 European countries which currently require sterilization. 
  • In June of this year, the World Health Organization issued a major revision to its international manual of diagnoses, which now states that being transgender is not a mental illness.
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