Monday, April 7, 2008

Gender Identity Disorder and Law Reform

"The ruling parties likely will relax the legal requirements for people with gender identity disorder to alter their officially registered sex, ministry sources said Saturday.

"Under the current law on the family registration of people with the disorder, a clause stipulates that people who already have children are not allowed to change their registered gender.

"The opposition Democratic Party of Japan has also said the clause should be reconsidered. If the ruling and opposition parties reach a consensus on the issue, a suprapartisan group of lawmakers likely will submit a bill to revise the law during the current Diet session.

"The original law passed the Diet in a free vote in July 2003, reflecting increasing social acceptance of the disorder. However, some lawmakers claimed that legally registering a woman as a father or a man as a mother would probably cause confusion in a family and be harmful for the welfare of a child.

"As a result, the clause that only allows those without children to change their sex was added.

"However, people with the disorder have called for the clause to be scrapped, saying that, typically, those who apply to change their registered gender have undergone sex-change surgery, so the change in the official registration itself has little impact on the welfare of the children."

By Yomiuri Shimbun (4/7/2008), Link to article (last visited 4/7/2008)

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