Por­tu­gal in gen­der vote

The Observer - - WORLD -

THE Por­tuguese par­lia­ment on Thurs­day ap­proved a law that will al­low cit­i­zens to change their gen­der and name from the age of 16 with­out a med­i­cal re­port show­ing “iden­tity dis­rup­tion”. Por­tu­gal joins Den­mark, Malta, Swe­den, Ire­land and Nor­way to be­come “the sixth Euro­pean coun­try to grant the right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion of trans­gen­der iden­tity ... with­out the guardian­ship of a third party and with­out a di­ag­no­sis of iden­tity dis­rup­tion,” said San­dra Cunha, a politi­cian from the Left Bloc. “No­body needs a third party to know if they are a man or a woman, a boy or a girl,” she ar­gued in the par­lia­men­tary de­bate ahead of the vote. The change of gen­der and name will, how­ever, re­main in­de­pen­dent from any pos­si­ble sex change op­er­a­tion. A law in force since 2011 re­quired trans­gen­der cit­i­zens to have a med­i­cal di­ag­no­sis that es­tab­lished gen­der dys­pho­ria – when gen­der does not cor­re­spond to bi­o­log­i­cal sex. The new law must now be signed off by the con­ser­va­tive Pres­i­dent Marcelo Re­belo de Sousa (pic­tured), who ve­toed the first ver­sion of the text adopted by par­lia­ment in mid-April. The head of state wanted a med­i­cal re­port re­quire­ment for mi­nors aged 16 to 18.

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