A Bill, Prohibiting Gender Reassignment, Proposed to the Agenda of the New Parliament
2012 11 29
The representative of the ‘Homeland Union’ Antanas Matulas, the Deputy Chairman of Committee on Health Affairs, has resubmitted a draft amendment to the Civil Code, prohibiting gender reassignment surgeries, five days after the beginning of the new parliamentary tenure. An identical draft amendment was submitted in 2011, but failed to be adopted. Therefore it could be presumed that the current motion seeks to test the new Parliament’s attitudes towards trans issues.
At present, the Civil Code provides that an unmarried adult is entitled to undergo gender reassignment surgery if it is possible medically, while the conditions and procedure of gender reassignment are set by legislation. No such legislation has been passed, however.
The initiators of the draft amendment propose that the aforementioned provisions be deleted and replaced by the provision that gender reassignment surgery is prohibited in Lithuania and that civil registry entries concerning gender reassignment surgeries performed abroad be amended by court decision only.
The explanatory note on the controversial proposal states that Lithuanian society ‘views gender reassignment as very controversially; society is not ready to accept gender reassignment practices due to certain psychosocial reasons, and therefore the permission to undergo gender reassignment surgeries will lead to a number of medical and ethical issues’.
Moreover, it ignorantly states that it is impossible to reassign gender surgically because it ‘is determined genetically from the very moment of conception’ and that gender reassignment procedure ‘is associated with the radical impairment of a person, because physically healthy persons who are able to conceive and raise children are castrated in this manner’. ‘Because, according to the International Classification of Diseases ICD-10, transsexuality (F64.0) belongs to the group of personality development and behavioural disorders of adults, help to transsexuals must be psychotherapeutic in nature and aimed at restoring the harmony of a person’s body and mind’, states the explanatory note.
The Legal Department with the Office of Seimas has provided its opinion that the draft amendment not only interferes with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), but also contradict the legal principle of legitimate expectations.