France Rules Transgender People Can Legally Transition Without Sterilization

Transgender
People gather on the Bastille square during the homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (HLBT) visibility march, in Paris, June 29, 2013. A new French law has answered the calls of the country's transgender community by removing the legal requirement for sterilization when a citizen applies to change their sex. Martin Bureau/Getty

The French transgender community are celebrating after legislation was passed allowing people to legally change their gender without undergoing sterilization.

Since 2014, Denmark, Malta and Ireland have allowed people to legally change their gender by simply informing authorities, without any medical or state intervention.

The practice of involuntary sterilization has been widely condemned as a human-rights violation, including by the United Nations, and the ILGA-Europe network of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups welcomed the change in French law, which came after a two-year campaign, The Telegraph reports.

France’s new legal gender recognition law, which does not require sterilization or the undergoing of medical procedures, comes at a time when a group of European nations has strengthened transgender people’s rights, according to Reuters.

A spokeswoman from the ILGA-Europe network of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups told Reuters: “These are years of sparring that finally come to fruition.”

While this is considered a win for rights activists, transgender people in France will still have to go to court in order to change their gender.