Transgender victory

  • 2008-04-08
  • In cooperation with BNS

VILNIUS - The European Courtof Human Rights (ECHR) will not reopen the case against Lithuaniafiled by a female aiming to have a sex change surgery - after losing the casein Strasbourg,the Baltic state will have to adopt a sex change law or pay compensation.

The suit against Lithuania wasmade by a 29-year-old woman from Klaipedawho identifies herself as a man.

"It took a few years of efforts for the ECHR toprotect her right to change sex, as stipulated in the Civil Code. Theirresponsible conduct of politicians has already cost a lot and may still havea higher price to Lithuaniantaxpayers," says director of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute HenrikasMickevicius, representative of the applicant to the court.

In its ruling last fall, the court said that if Lithuaniafails to pass this law, it will have to pay another 40,000 euros to the woman-- the estimated cost of a sex change operation in a foreign country.

Under current laws, a person in Lithuaniawho wants to change sex cannot, despite the right guaranteed in the Civil Code- there is no legislation regulating the procedure. Even after a sex changesurgery, a person would be faced with further obstacles - he would not be ableto get a birth certificate, an identification code and a passport indicatinghis new sex.

Authors of the amendment said adoption of the law on sexchange would require that post-op, persons would have costly hormonemedications compensated by the state for the rest of their lives. In theopinion of politicians, transsexuals may have their sex changed in any othercountry of the European Union

Approximately 200 transsexuals - persons consideringthemselves of a different sex than they were born - are believed to residein Lithuania.