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A few legal issues re: transpeople from overseas:

Human Rights Watch issued a report critical of legal treatment of transgender people by Dutch law in regards to documentation.

The report is called Controlling Bodies, Denying Identities: Human Rights Violations against Trans People in the Netherlands and it documents the impact of a 1985 law which requires transpeople to have surgery and sterilization before being allowed to legally change gender.  A pdf of the report is available at the link.

The requirements violate transgender people’s rights to personal autonomy and physical integrity and deny them the ability to define their own gender identity.

Justice Ministry spokesman Wiebe Alkema said authorities have been working for months on scrapping the requirement for transgender people to undergo surgery and sterilization before registering their new gender.

--Atlanta Journal-Constitution


It is good news, but I still have to see it before I believe it.

--Boris Dittrich, advocacy director in the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch

Dittrich relates that the government has been pledging to change the law for 2.5 years, but action keeps getting postponed.

He added that it could still take years for the legislation to be studied by legal advisers, the Cabinet and then voted on by lawmakers.

For contrast, The National Center for Transgender Rights has a Federal Documents issue page for the situation in the US.  Some states refuse gender change on documents even post-surgery.

Thailand

A Thai court has ordered the military to stop labeling transgender people as mentally ill.

The Thai military conscripts adult males over the age of 18 each year, but disqualifies transgender people, classifying them as "having a permanent mental disorder".

Samart Meechai, 27, brought suit against defense officials over the classification, which stigmatizes transpeople and may bar them from finding future employment.

The court did not bar the military from rejecting transpeople from its ranks and did not stipulate what wording for the reason for rejection should be.

Defense spokesman Col. Thanatip Sawangsaeng said the ministry will comply, and has proposed the new phrasing: "Current sexual status does not match that of birth."

The Thai military had agreed with the court's conclusion earlier in the month.

Scotland

Terry Porter, 19, a Scottish soldier, became the first person in Scotland charged under a new transgender prejudice law following an incident in which he hurled verbal threats at Chloe Dow.  Porter pounded on the door to the dwelling occupied by Ms. Dow and Oliver Bond.

Get up or I’ll drag you out or knock you out. You’re a mutant. What a state. You look like a freak.

--Terry Porter

Porter admitted to arriving uninvited at the residence and insisting that Dow vacate the bedroom, as well “breaching the peace by behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm.”

Porter was fined £350, 200 for the breach of peace and 150 for the transgender prejudice.  

Just in case you wanted to know how much it was (or is that "we are") worth.

Originally posted to TransAction on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women.

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