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Japan Supreme Court Declares “Sterilization” Constitutional; Required Before Legal Recognition Of Gender Change

January 24, 2019

The Supreme Court of Japan has declared a Japanese law constitutional that requires people who seek legal recognition of their gender change to first undergo surgical sterilization.

The Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that the court ruling “was intended to prevent ‘problems’ in parent-child relations that could lead to societal ‘confusion’ and ‘abrupt changes’ in society.” AFP further reports that the court “acknowledged ‘doubts'” whether its decision reflected “changing social values, but said the law was constitutional.”

The ruling comes after Takakito Usui, a biological male who wants the country’s official documents to recognize him as a female, filed an appeal 2 years ago.

AFP reports the law in question requires that a person must have “a body which appears to have parts that resemble the genital organs” of the gender they identify with, and that such a person seeking legal recognition of a change in gender must not possess any “reproductive glands that have permanently lost function.”

The four justices of the court said they “recognized the invasive nature of the law” and that all laws should be reviewed if and when social and familial mores change.

 

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