Transgender Rights Need Review, Says Parliamentary Ombudsman - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Transgender Rights Need Review, Says Parliamentary Ombudsman

Published April 29, 2009

Laws regarding the civil rights of transgendered people need to be
reviewed and made more clear, says the parliamentary ombudsman.
Among the rights the office recommends reviewing and clarifying are with regards to a transgendered person changing their name with the National Registry. Morgunblaðið reports that in 2007, a woman who had been born male but was living as a female since the age of 12 asked that her name be changed from the male name she was registered with at birth to the female name she had taken for herself. The Ministry of Justice responded by saying that as the woman had not completed the physical transition to the female gender, her name would remain male. The person in question filed a formal complaint, saying that the ministry’s decision was a violation of equal rights.
With this conflict in play, the parliamentary ombudsman came to the conclusion that laws and regulations with regards to transgendered people need to be reviewed and clarified. The question actually touches on international law as well, in the areas of right to privacy, and what constitutes “gender” – the physionomical or psychological components of an individual. In conclusion, new legislation would need to be passed to ensure the civil rights of the transgendered are respected, and in harmony with international law.

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