Czech court refuses legal gender change without surgery


Central Europe


A judge in Prague. Image not related to article. Photo EPA, Martin Divisek

A transgender in Czechia cannot be registered as a male because he was born as a woman and did not undergo surgical sex reassignment.

In addition, the court emphasised the importance of the protection of the natural family, which consists of a male father, a female mother and children. The Czech family law defines that the parents of a child are a man and a woman. But if a female could legally become a male and give birth, she could not become the child's mother, and this would lead to problems, the judges argued.

The transgender who started the court case had attempted to change his male name, birth number and gender entry in the official registers. However, his request was turned down by the Czech registry office. The reason was that he was physically still female.

The condition of surgical sex reassignment for legal gender change is unconstitutional, the appellant complained. Therefore, he started legal proceedings, Remix writes. According to him, the current law violates his right to human dignity and respect for privacy and is also against the prohibition of torture.


However, the Czech Supreme Administrative Court turned down his complaint. The judges argued that it is important to protect the natural attributes of family and parenthood, Remix states. The Civil Code is clear, and the registry office did the right thing, the court argued while expressing understanding for the choice not to go for surgical gender reassignment. "We are aware that the legal requirement to change gender has serious consequences", the judges said. "It is a mutilation procedure, usually irreversible, which, like other medical procedures, is not without risk."

The court also refused to submit a proposal to the Constitutional Court to remove the clause from the Civil Code. The judges believe that changing the law is not up to the judiciary but to the elected government.


In March, CNE.news, however, reported about a proposal to remove the condition of surgical gender change before legal gender change. This proposal is currently in the legislative process.



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