Cyprus introduces gender change legislation

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Cypriots wanting to change their gender identity will soon be able to do so simply by submitting an under-oath application with the Registrar and paying a €50 fee.

A bill recently submitted by the Ministry of Justice enables the procedure, which had been the subject of consultations over the past three years.

The bill also foresees that teenagers over the age of 16, expressing discomfort with their assigned gender, can apply to change their gender identification, provided that they have their parents’ permission.

The purpose of the law is to secure the right to gender identity recognition and/or to change registered gender identity information without the need for proof of surgery or any other intervention. According to the bill, every person is entitled to:

  • To decide their gender
  • Respect for their bodily integrity and physical autonomy, regardless of their expression of identity, gender, or gender characteristics.
  • Free development as an individual and as a personality, according to their gender identity.
  • Treatment according to their gender identity and, in particular, to documents that prove their identity.

As provided in the bill, any person requesting gender reassignment is not required to provide proof of a surgical procedure for total or partial genital reassignment, hormone therapy or any other psychiatric, psychological, or medical treatment.

In their affidavit, the applicant must state their desired gender, their assigned gender, the one registered with authorities, their new name, and a statement they fully understand their choice’s consequences.

The bill notes that any medical intervention on minors is prohibited unless serious life-threatening conditions exist.

It stipulates that a Family Court must approve any gender change for children under 16.

The court can only issue a decree for the legal recognition of the gender identity of a minor, only if it requests and receives a positive unanimous opinion from the Juvenile Gender Identity Committee.

The court must also be satisfied that both the parents or guardians of the minor comprehend the consequences of their application.

Children involved must prove that they are mature enough to express their desire to change their gender identification.

Any change must be in the best interest of the minor.