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Dutch lawmakers pass gender-identity law

Trans people will be able to change gender on documents with 'expert' statement

The Netherlands has passed a groundbreaking gender-identity law that will take effect in July 2014. Credit: 123rf.com

By a 51 to 24 vote, Dutch lawmakers passed legislation that allows trans people to change their gender classification on official documents without being required to undergo surgery and sterilization or obtain court permission.  

An NIS News Bulletin says that under the new measure, an "expert" need only attest to the desire of transgender people to change their gender identification, after which municipal authorities can process the change without judicial involvement.    

"This law is a victory for transgender people in the Netherlands," the chairpersons of Transgender Network Netherlands and COC Netherlands say in a statement. "There is an end to all the humiliating situations that transgenders still daily deal with because the sex designation on their paper is different from the gender in which they live."

But BuzzFeed notes that the two organizations feel the law requires some revisions, specifically the elimination of an age requirement and the need for expert sanction. 

The new law is scheduled to take effect in July 2014.