Dutch Transsexual wins right to new degree certificate

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A transsexual graduate has won a battle with the University of Amsterdam to be issued with a fresh degree certificate bearing his new gender and name.

Education Minister Marja van Bijsterveld admitted there was nothing in the law to prevent the university from simply reprinting the certificate with a change of gender. The university had turned down the request by former student Justus Eisfeld, insisting that legislation didn’t allow it to hand out more than one certificate per graduate.

“In the first instance this was the interpretation my department passed on to the University of Amsterdam,” the minister said, but “On further reflection it seems that this interpretation of the law was too strict.”

Her remarks came after a ruling on Mr Eisfeld’s case by the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission on Tuesday, which concluded that the university’s stance amounted to discrimination.

When Mr Eisfeld graduated in 2001 he was a woman. He underwent a sex change operation in 2008. His name and gender change was duly made on every official document from his passport to his driving licence. Only his degree certificate still didn’t reflect his new gender.

A university spokesperson confirmed that Mr Eisfeld would now be issued with a new certificate as soon as possible.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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