Statement of the Ombudsman for Equality on the bill for the amendment of the Trans Act (Act on the Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals, 563/2002)(TAS 261/2014, issued on 12 September 2014)

In its statement, the Ombudsman for Equality recommended that the title of the act be changed as proposed to the "Act on the Legal Recognition of Gender". The prerequisites for the legal recognition of gender should be amended to omit the requirement of a person being sterilised or otherwise unable to reproduce. Further, the requirement on unmarried status should be omitted.

The Ombudsman for Equality supported the option which allows a transgender person and his or her partner to continue, by mutual agreement, their relationship with the same legal status they had previously.

The infertility requirement of the Trans Act violates fundamental and human rights, such as the right of transgender people to equality, personal integrity, and private and family life.  The requirement on infertility has adverse effects on the status of transgender people and their partners which extend beyond the legal recognition of gender, for example in access to infertility treatments.

Further, the requirement on an unmarried status or, in the case of individuals who are married or in a civil partnership, on the partner's consent as a prerequisite for legal recognition of corrected gender, and the associated change in the status of the relationship from marriage to civil partnership or vice-versa against the couple's will were considered unjustified interference in the private and family lives of transgender people and their partners.

With regard to other necessary amendments of the Trans Act, among other matters, the Ombudsman for Equality noted that the right of a person to have his or her legal gender recognised in accordance with his or her gender identity should not be connected to a medical diagnosis or treatment of conflicted gender as is the case in the current Trans Act.