Vietnamese government halts reversal of gender recognition

Government steps in to stop local authority from reversing recognition of intersex person's gender

Vietnamese government halts reversal of gender recognition
22 February 2013

Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice has ordered the local government in Binh Phuoc province to halt their decision to reverse their recognition of intersex teacher Pham Le Quynh Tram’s gender.

The halt was demanded while the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health wait for Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s decision on the matter, Tuoitre News reports.

Pham Le Quynh Tram successfully lobbied the authorities in Binh Phuoc to change her gender on official documents in 2009. She was ‘deeply shocked’ to learn last month that they wanted to revoke the decision.

As an intersex person, Pham Le Quynh Tram can legally alter the gender written on her official documents. Transgender people in Vietnam do not have this right.

But in order to do so, the person must undergo surgery at an authorized hospital in Vietnam. Pham Le Quynh Tram had surgery in Thailand so the local authorities say her gender cannot be recognized.

Now the Ministry of Justice, the same department that are consulting on legalizing same-sex marriage, has stepped in there is hope that a progressive decision will be made.  

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