Official gender change only happens through surgery, Czech Constitutional Court confirms

A man is seen underneath the rainbow flag during the the fourth gay pride rally in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia on Saturday, June 18, 2011. A ruling by the European Union's top court on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021 has given a boost to the rights of same-sex parents and their children in the 27-nation bloc. The European Court of Justice said that a child with two mothers certified in one EU nation must also be recognized by the other EU member states as such. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova, File)
By Lucie Ctverakova
3 Min Read

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic rejected a proposal to repeal parts of the civil code and other laws stating that the condition for official gender transitioning is an operation. The change in the law was demanded by a person who self-identified as non-binary.

“The plaintiff, born as a man but who feels they are neither a man nor a woman, but a person of the neutral gender, demanded a change of birth number at the administrative bodies and courts,” the constitutional court described the core of the case under review.

The plaintiff also suggested deleting the passage of the civil code, according to which gender reassignment is possible only by surgery, and changing the wording of the law on specific health services regarding gender reassignment of transgender patients.

The court did not deal with the conditions of gender reassignment but focused exclusively on the form of the birth number, so it would comply with Czech standards.

“In the Czech Republic, people divide into women and men. This understanding of the binary existence of the human species has no origin in the will of the state as the public authority only accepted this as a social reality,” the court explained.

It added that if this division is constitutionally accepted, it is logical that the state records information about gender in some form, in this case, through the birth number.

The Constitutional Court is not an arbiter of cultural wars

Judges do not consider this happening through birth numbers to be an issue. The court also noted in its reasoning that the state is gradually withdrawing from using these numbers, anyway.

“The role of the Constitutional Court is not to protect or perhaps even promote modern trends, just as its role is not to prevent these trends. The Constitutional Court is not and cannot be an arbitrator entering cultural wars and actively determining the direction of social development in the Czech Republic,” the judges concluded.

The decision of the plenary was not unanimous, with seven out of 15 judges expressing a different standpoint on this matter.

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