Young at heart

Court shoots down man’s harebrained bid to shave 20 years off his legal age

This photo taken on November 5, 2018 shows s portrait of a 69-year-old Dutchman Emile Ratelband in the center of Arnhem, The Netherlands. Emile Ratelband wants his official age (69) to be adjusted with his 'emotional age' (49). (ROLAND HEITINK/AFP/Getty Images)

A Dutch “positivity guru” will have to remain young at heart — if not on paper, a court has ruled. The man, who sought to change his legal age because he identifies as someone 20 years younger, has seen his bid rejected after a court ruled that such a change would lead to “a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications.” Emile Ratelband, 69, had argued that his official age was causing him to be discriminated against in the job market and on dating apps such as Tinder. Since people can change their legal gender or name, he told the court, changing one’s age so that it matched with how one identifies mentally should be permissible as well.

“When I’m 69, I am limited. If I’m 49, then I can buy a new house, drive a different car,” claimed Ratelband, characterizing himself as a “young God” who physically resembled a man decades younger. “I can take up more work. When I’m on Tinder and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position.”

But in a press statement, Arnhem court explained that it had rejected his petition due to the complications that the ability to change one’s legal age would cause in other aspects of the legal system — particularly those that depend on one’s legal age, “such as the right to vote and the duty to attend school.”

“If Mr. Ratelband’s request was allowed, those age requirements would become meaningless,” the court wrote. “Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly. But amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships. This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications.”

In response to the judgement, the positivity guru said that he was just the first of “thousands of people who want to change his age,’ and was characteristically optimistic in announcing his intent to appeal the ruling.

“This is great!” he said. “The rejection of (the) court is great … because they give all kinds of angles where we can connect when we go in appeal.”

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


Man launches legal bid to have his age reduced by 20 years after suffering ‘discrimination’ on dating apps

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