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Netherlands adopts landmark gender identity law, bans forced sterilization

Thursday, December 19, 2013

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Netherlands has adopted landmark legislation banning forced sterilization and allowing transgender people to change their identity on official documents with the requirement of gender reassignment surgery.

Binnenhof, meeting place of the Dutch parliament in The Netherlands.

Markus Bernet
Binnenhof, meeting place of the Dutch parliament in The Netherlands.

The Dutch Senate adopted the law on Wednesday, with 51 senators voting in favor and 24 against.

The new Dutch law applies to anyone 16 years of ago or older, and requires only a statement from an expert before registering the person’s preferred gender in official state documents.

The previous Dutch transgender law required that any change in gender registration required a gender reassignment surgery and irreversible sterilization. Both requirements have now been deleted.

Carolien van de Lagemaat chair of the Transgender Network Netherlands group hailed the new law as “victory for transgender people in the Netherlands.”

Van de Lagemaat said the change would greatly alleviate problems transgender people face on a daily basis while applying for a new job, showing identification, obtaining health care, and using public transportation.

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Human rights bodies such as the Council of Europe and the United Nations have previously reprimanded the Netherlands over the current transgender law and insisted on a modification of the law.

Boris Dittrich, Dutch advocacy director of the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch (HRW), told LGBTQ Nation: “The new law is a huge step forward for transgender people who do not wish to alter their body but would like to obtain new ID papers.”

“The old law required them to undergo gender reassignment surgery and they be irreversibly sterilized,” he said. “That these requirements have been deleted makes a big difference in the daily lives of transgender Dutch people who needed to identify themselves with IDs that did not match their preferred gender.”

Dittrich added that requirements of the age of consent for transitioning and expert approval will be up for re-examination within three years and could then be done away with.

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26 more reader comments:

  1. It’s things like these that make me proud to be Dutch!

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:06pm
  2. Same here!

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:08pm
  3. Yay..!!

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:13pm
  4. Yup!! There may be a lot wrong in Holland but I was gonna post the exact same thing, lol. Sometimes it's pretty cool to be Dutch.

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:21pm
  5. It's things like this that make me want to move to the Netherlands; if only I spoke dutch.

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 10:38pm
  6. eugenics is unacceptable. Its about time.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:09pm
  7. Win.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:18pm
  8. Woop woop ^-^
    Governing, you’re doing it right.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:20pm
  9. finaly something to be proud of

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:23pm
  10. They had forced serialization laws there?

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:23pm
  11. Ok i’m so sorry, but i have to do this even though it has nothing to do with the subject………. It’s The Hague not The Hauge again sorry but i seriously had to… On another note my thumbs up for the Netherlands!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:28pm
  12. The Netherlands has been a great role model for the world. Would that the USA adopted some of its lessons.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:34pm
  13. Won't happen here, my friend. I wish, but alas, no. Too many hard-line religious interests...

    Replied on Friday, December 20, 2013 at 5:50am
  14. good for them.

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:42pm
  15. im gay man her in st catharines ont canada

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:50pm
  16. what good would sterilizing gay ppl do anyway…straight ppl are the ones making the babies…just sayin

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 8:54pm
  17. They were sterilizing transgender people it was a requirement before they could have their gender legally recognized.

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 10:03pm
  18. Ah, still what good would it do? I don't where some ppl get their crazy ideas from

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 10:24pm
  19. I don't know why it was ever law to begin with glad its gone now

    Replied on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 10:40pm
  20. the sterilizing law was there so when a child was born, it wouldn't have 2 dads or 2 mums as their biological parents.

    Replied on Friday, December 20, 2013 at 12:50am
  21. So if they already had a kid were they denined the change or did they kill the kid or what, the logic behind this dosen't fit together one bit...

    Replied on Friday, December 20, 2013 at 2:59pm
  22. that’s great news. i’m not always proud to be dutch but this makes me proud to be dutch

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 9:31pm
  23. go Phil go!

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 9:35pm
  24. Posted on Friday, December 20, 2013 at 8:31am
  25. go Holland!

    Posted on Friday, December 20, 2013 at 11:34am
  26. So do they have to have the reassignment surgery or not? Two conflicting paragraphs in there.

    Posted on Friday, December 20, 2013 at 1:02pm