The Court of Appeal in Lebanon has said trans people can legally change their gender.
Judge Janet Hanna in Beirut was examining the case of a trans man who had undergone gender surgery and wanted to be listed as a man, not a woman, in the official population register.
As it is a senior court, the judge’s ruling in favor of the man will now set a precedent confirming the legal rights of trans people in the Middle Eastern country.
Judge Hanna confirmed three basic rights in her ruling: The right to change gender to relieve psychological and social suffering, the right to access treatment for gender conditions and the right to privacy.
The court learned the trans man had ‘suffered since birth from gender identity disorder disease’ and had ‘masculine features in terms of external appearance, psychological and emotional characteristics.’
The man had got a medical report explaining his transition was a ‘mature’ and informed decision.
He was initially denied the right to officially change his gender by a lower court but appealed and the case was heard by the Court of Appeal last September. That judgment was announced today.
Judge Hanna ruled: ‘The person’s right to receive the necessary treatment to relieve the suffering from physical and mental illness is a fundamental and natural right, no one can deprive him of it.’
Bertho Makso, an LGBTI activist and director of Proud Lebanon, told Gay Star News: ‘There has been much suffering in the past because this right was not given to trans people.
‘This is a breakthrough for the trans community and all LGBTI people in Lebanon as we fight for our right to be treated with dignity and respect.’
By Tris Reid-Smith