7 January 2004
MUNICH – German judges have backed a demand by a Thai, who changed sex from man to woman, to be legally declared a female, even though Thai law does not allow registration records to be altered this way.
The Bavarian Supreme Court this month cleared the way for the case to go to Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court.
Two lower courts had thrown out the case brought by the Thai, 28, who had a sex-change operation in 1999 in Thailand and is now capable of bearing children, according to doctors. Germany has a Transsexuality Act allowing a legal declaration of the new sex.
However Germany had avoided changing the legal sex of foreigners on its territory, contending this would otherwise mean a person could be legally a woman in one country and legally a man in another.
But Bavarian judges said that was unconstitutional discrimination between a German and a non-German who otherwise had equal access to German legal remedies. The Thai lives with a German man and needs the declaration so she can marry him.
Evidence was brought from two psychiatrists who said she clearly regarded herself as a woman. They added it was “very likely” she would not change her sex back to male. The Bavarian judges said they believed she should be able to marry the man.
The legality of the law must now by checked by a federal court in Karlsruhe that checks whether legislation meets constitutional standards.
Subject: German news