Hong Kong’s top court says surgery not needed to register gender change


HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s highest court handed down a landmark ruling on Monday that will allow transgender people to change their gender listing on their identity cards without undergoing full reassignment surgery.

The Court of Final Appeal ruled that the government violated the rights of two transgender people when it rejected requests to change the gender listing on their identity cards because they had not undergone full reassignment surgery.

A legal challenge was brought in 2019 by Henry Edward Tse and another appellant who wanted to identify only as “Q” against the Registration Commissioner after an official checked their gender status on Hong Kong identity cards. Refused. Both transgender women have successfully amended their gender markers on their British passports.

The trial of Hong Kong’s top pro-democracy figures will begin on Monday.

In 2019 and 2022, two lower courts in Hong Kong rejected appeals by Q and Tse, ruling in favor of the government granting full gender reassignment to a transgender person for modifying their gender marker. Surgery is required.

The procedure would involve removing their uterus and ovaries and reconstructing the penis, which Tsi said can be a risky surgery that can cause complications in patients and therefore a condition. was asked to terminate.

In a ruling released Monday afternoon, the courts reasoned that the kind of “incompatibility” that typically causes problems for transsexuals is “between a sex marker and a transsexual’s physical appearance.” Caused by discord not the appearance of the “genital area”. “

“The result of the policy is to put individuals like the appellants in the dilemma of whether to suffer a formal violation of their privacy rights or to undergo highly invasive and medically unnecessary surgery, which compromises their physical integrity. is a violation of the right. It clearly does not reflect a causal balance,” the judgment wrote.

Speaking to the press outside the court, Tse said today’s verdict was “justice delayed”.

“We all dreamed that we would no longer be kicked out of our identity cards, that we would no longer be rejected for crossing the border and return home to Hong Kong, and that we would be married and “The rights to start a family with the opposite sex will be taken away. . . in every aspect of daily life, our dignity has been damaged,” said Tse.

“This case should never have happened in the first place.”

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