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Transgender woman sues Ecuador for refusing to recognize her new gender

Transgender activist Diane Rodriguez is taking the Ecuadorian Government to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for refusing to allow her to change her gender on her identity papers without undergoing surgery
Diane Rodriguez
Photo by X Silhouette Association

The first transgender woman in Ecuador to legally change her name will now take her court battle to have her identity documents also reflect her new gender to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Diane Rodriguez has been battling for five years to have her identity documents changed from saying she is male to female and is the founder of LGBTI rights group the X Silhouette Association.

Rodriguez set a precedent in Ecuador in 2009, when she took her case to change her name before the Civil Registry, which has allowed other transgender women in Ecuador to legally change their names.

However Ecuador does not allow transgender people to change their legal gender unless they have undergone a full surgical transition – something that has potential health risks associated with it and which may be too expensive for many poor Ecuadorian transgender people to undertake.

‘I have to continue the process, not only for me but for the entire GLBT community, and in this case specifically for the trans community,’ Rodriguez said, according to the Bay Area Reporter.

Ecuador’s constitution protects people on the basis of ‘aesthetic freedom,’ and guarantees equality before the law without discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

Rodriguez hopes the Inter-American Court of Human Rights will rule that also includes the right of pre-operative transsexuals to change their genders in their identity documents.

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