The right to be yourself: a comparison of legal gender recognition policies in EU countries. The case of Hungary, the Netherlands and Malta
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Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1388
Background and objectives: “Everybody in the European Union should be safe and free to be themselves.” is the initial statement in the European Union (EU) document on the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020-2025. However, this reality does not apply to all. The aim of this study is establishing a comparison on the grounds of LGR procedures between EU member states, specifically Malta, the Netherlands, and Hungary, bringing to Discussion the impact of LGR for trans population across these countries.  Methods: This document has been developed under a two-stage Methodology. A quantitative method was carried out to review the 27 EU Member States’ compliance on Legal Gender Recognition indicators for further clustering and country selection. TransRights Map (TRM) is an online database platform on trans rights and protections. This tool was reviewed along with local LGR policies and regulations (qualitative stage). Results: EU Member States were clustered into three groups according to the indicators they met. Hungary (Cluster 1) has complied with 0 of the indicators for LGR, with a law passed on March 2020 continues to burden trans on their everyday lives. The Netherlands (Cluster 2) with 7 indicators complied, amended the Civil Code in 2014 providing the elimination of the sterilization requirement for LGR. However, it still requires medical and/or psychological diagnosis or testimony to start running the procedure. On the other hand, Malta (Cluster 3), by means of the _Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act of 2015 entitles their trans population to update their legal gender based on self-determination and bodily integrity. Conclusions: Comparisons between the countries vary from existence or disregard for LGR procedures to barriers and difficulties to achieve LGR. Inclusion of transgender population in the professional provision of care and decision-making process should be reinforced through knowledge production of scientific evidence and lived-experience evidence.