Portugal passes law to let trans people self-identify their legal gender

Portugal has passed a law that allows transgender people to change their legal gender under a “self determination” system.

The new law, which makes Portugal the sixth European country to adopt a “self-ID” gender recognition law, passed through the country’s parliament on Friday by a reported vote of 109-106.

It removes a medical diagnosis requirement for transgender people to have their gender legally recognised, and instead allows them to change their legal gender through a procedure based on self-determination.

The new gender recognition law removes hurdles to transition that have faced criticism, and instead respects that trans people themselves know best who they are and how they identify.

Legal gender recognition will also be extended to over-16s.

Portugal’s Parliament (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

Malta, Norway, Denmark, Ireland and Belgium have all adopted the self-ID system of gender recognition.

Katrin Hugendubel of ILGA-Europe said: “ILGA-Europe are very relieved that the law based on self-determination was adopted and that it will be accessible to everyone over 16.

“We are also encouraged that politicians (despite the fact that some parties’ commitment to equality seemed to be wavering in the past few weeks) ultimately voted in favour of respect and common sense.

“We congratulate Portugal – and look forward to celebrating with our members and friends at the 2018 IDAHOT Forum taking place in Lisbon next month!”

The country was also praised for outlawing controversial “corrective” surgeries performed on intersex babies who are born with a mixture of male and female sex characteristics.

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