LGBT wrongs

Japan upholds law requiring trans people to be sterilized before gender change

People attend the annual Tokyo Rainbow Parade, on May 6, 2018, to show support for members of the LGBT community. (Martin BUREAU / AFP/Getty Images)

Japan’s Supreme Court has upheld a law requiring trans people to undergo effective sterilization before they can have their gender legally changed.

As NBC reports, the 2004 law requires transgender individuals who want to have their gender changed on official documents to have their original reproductive organs removed and have a body that “appears to have parts that resemble the genital organs” of their preferred gender.

The law had been challenged by Takakito Usui, a transgender man who wanted to be legally recognized as male without having his female reproductive organs removed. Usui argued that the law is unconstitutional, but a four-judge panel rejected his appeal. The law, they found, is in fact constitutional because it seeks to prevent “confusion in families and society,” according to NBC.

Still, Usui’s lawyer said his client was heartened by the fact that two judges noted “doubts are undeniably emerging” as to whether the law violates the constitution. They recommended regular reviews of the legislation “from the viewpoint of respect for personality and individuality.”

“I think the ruling could lead to a next step,” Usui said during a news conference. “I hope to find what constitutes a family of my own that does not fit the traditional mold.”

Read the full story at NBC News.

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