Georgia Records First Legal Gender Recognition for Trans Person

On March 25, Georgian authorities allowed the first-ever legal gender recognition for a transgender person in the country, Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG), a local civil society organization, reported.

According to WISG, the Civil Registry Service of the Public Service Development Agency, a body established under the Justice Ministry, officially changed the gender marker from “male” to “female” upon request by a trans woman, who had also submitted a medical certificate of gender reassignment surgery.

The CSO noted that there are no legislative or administrative tools for legal gender recognition to date in Georgia, and the recent decision only follows the country practices that have no legal basis.

These practices, WISG said, restrict gender recognition of trans people who are not willing to “undergo trans-specific medical procedures or allow any sort of invasive intervention in their body’s autonomy,” which goes against international standards, including those developed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Currently, a case of two Georgian trans men who were denied legal gender recognition on the basis of not meeting the sex reassignment surgery (SRS) requirement is reportedly pending at the ECtHR. WISG noted that the Strasbourg Court earlier found the SRS requirement to be in breach of the right to respect for private and family life as guaranteed under Article 8 of ECHR.

Unregulated gender recognition process raises unemployment and poverty risks for trans people, encourages their marginalization, and makes them even more prone to transphobia-induced crimes and discrimination, the CSO warned.

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