Posted on 21. July 2015 in Legal Gender Recognition, Country Information

Transgender Europe welcomes a decision of the Italian Supreme Court from July 20, that interprets medical intervention and sterilisation as not necessary for having one’s gender legally recognized.

A 45-year old trans woman who had been living for 20 years as a woman had been denied the recognition by the court of Piacenza. Basis for the denial was a strict interpretation of Law 164 from 1982 (later modified) that requires more or less invasive reassignment surgery (up to state of the art reconstruction) or at least permanente sterilisation. The Supreme Court clarified now that mandatory genital surgery cannot be justified by a public interest in establishing certain genders. It recognized that the intervention in primary sex characteristics of a person can only be considered as ‘necessary’ if the trans person considers it.

Although the Supreme Court is an authoritative source for interpreting the law, three cases are pending before the Italian Constitutional Court that will have the final word later this year. The Supreme Court judgment gives hope that after yesterday’s decision there will be no turning back.

TGEU member organisation M.I.T – Movimento Identità Transessuale Bologna has been calling for a reform of law 164 in its campaign Another Gender Is Possible (UN ALTRO GENERE È POSSIBILE). The judgement of the Supreme Court will certainly quicken the law reform.

Read more about the decision here (in Italian)