10 February 2004
BRUSSELS – The law in Belgium could soon recognise the new identities of people who have undergone a sex-change operation.
If plans put forward on Monday by four Belgian parliamentarians become law, then a person will be able to change their name and alter the description of their sex on their national identity card and other official documents.
At present transsexual people can sometimes have their new identity recognised officially. But all demands must go through the courts and judges must rule on a case-by-case basis, which critics say makes the process somewhat arbitrary.
Under the planned new rules changing the mention of a person’s sex on official documents would be an administrative process would not require court appearances.
“Transsexuals are not criminals,” argued Flemish Liberal Democrat (VLD) Hilde Vautmans, one of the parliamentarians behind the initiative.
According to a study produced by Ghent university around 1 in 16,000 men believe they are really women and 1 in 40,000 women feel they should have been born as men.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news