Lithuania to reconsider anti-trans law

Lithuania will discuss whether to ban gender reassignment surgery, contradicting European law

Lithuania to reconsider anti-trans law
30 November 2012

Lithuania is about to reconsider an anti-trans law that will ban gender reassignment surgery.

After an identical draft amendment was submitted in 2011, and failed to be adopted, it is presumed this motion is seeking to test the new Parliament’s attitudes towards transgender issues.

Antanas Matulas, a right-wing Christian politician and on the committee for health affairs, has resubmitted a draft amendment to the Civil Code saying ‘society is not ready to accept’ transgender people.

At present, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), in 2007, Lithuania is obliged to enact a law regulating the procedure and conditions of gender reassignment.

At present, the civil code provides that any unmarried person of full age is entitled to medical gender reassignment if medically feasible, but a law enforcing this, as suggested by the ECtHR, is missing.

To comply with the ruling above the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice suggested fully removing support for state sponsored gender reassignment surgery.

Matulas proposes that gender reassignment surgery should be banned outright in Lithuania, and those who for them to be performed abroad must get permission from the government.

In the explanatory notes, he says Lithuanian society continues to view ‘gender reassignment very controversially.’

Matulas adds: ‘Society is not ready to accept gender reassignment practices due to certain psychosocial reasons, and therefore the permission to undergo gender reassignment surgeries will lead to a number of medical and ethical issues.’

The 56-year-old believes it is impossible to reassign gender surgically because it is ‘determined genetically from the very moment of conception.’

The Legal Department with the Office of Seimas has said the draft amendment not only interferes with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights but also contradicts the legal principle of legitimate exceptions.

For the proposals by the Ministry of Justice to be enforced, they must first be approved by the government and the parliament.

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