Transgender Israelis are no longer required to undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS) to change the gender designation on their ID cards.
The change comes after the Supreme Court ordered the ministry of interior to legally change the gender of two transgender citizens from male to female, Haaretz newspaper reported.
A petition was filed at the court by a lawyer and an ex-soldier who started transitioning during her compulsory military service.
Neither women wanted to undergo SRS and thought the prerequisite was unreasonable. Both were able to change their names not their gender.
‘The interior ministry position that there must be a correlation between the penis of the petitioners and their gender identity rests on an unfounded and outdated misconception,’ said the petition.
The interior ministry last week met with officials from the ministries of justice and health, the latter of which explained that other countries have recognized criteria to determine whether a person identifies as the opposite gender other than surgery.
Portugal, Spain, the UK, Austria, Germany, Finland and several US states allow transgender applicants to legally change gender on the basis of a declaration by a doctor or social worker.
The health ministry will set the criteria for determining a gender change without surgery and certify applicants who wish to register an official change in his or her gender.