(CTN NEWS) – HONG KONG – In a decision that is expected to have a significant effect on the transgender community.
Hong Kong’s top court ruled on Monday that full sex reassignment surgery should not be a requirement for transgender people to have their gender changed on official identification documents.
Henry Edward Tse, a transgender activist and a person known as Q, filed a court appeal last month after the government refused to change the genders on their ID cards because they chose not to undergo full sex reassignment surgery.
Both Tse and Q are transgender men who had their breasts removed, underwent hormonal therapy, and got mental and professional care as they lived as men.
Because many transgender members of the LGBTQ community believe that having the operation is unnecessary and hazardous, the Court of Final Appeal’s decision is anticipated to significantly impact the LGBTQ community as a whole.
According to a report, at least 32 transgender people will die in the United States in 2022.
Due to current government regulation, transgender males can only legally alter their gender if they have had their uteruses and ovaries removed and male genitalia built.
Only those who are medically unable to undertake the surgical treatments are excluded.
The Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal denied Tse and Q’s requests for judicial review. They were permitted to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal.
The court said that the government’s policy was unconstitutional and placed an “unacceptably heavy burden” in its decision, which was made public on Monday.
They added that the policy’s interference with the two individuals’ rights to gender identity and physical integrity was “disproportionate.”
The judges further stated that leaving the gender on a transgender person’s identity card unaltered “produced greater confusion or embarrassment”.
And that any administrative issues that typically arise tend to concern a transgender person’s outward appearance rather than the appearance of their genital area.
Tse praised the decision, noting that many transgender persons had been waiting years for a “final victory.”
He remarked that entering gender-segregated areas would be much simpler now that I have a male ID card. “I wouldn’t be harassed and embarrassed by being exposed by an ID that doesn’t match who I am,” the person said.
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