The Japanese Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that transgender people must be sterilized before filing gender changes on official documents.
The 4-0 ruling backs the law as constitutional as its initial intention was to curtail confusion among society. But the court also acknowledged that it restricts freedom and may not be in keeping with sweeping social mores.
Takakito Usui, a transgender man still possessing female reproductive glands, appealed to the court to grant him legal recognition as a man. He claimed his right to self-determination was being infringed upon, reported The Associated Press.
The 2004 law states people wishing to register a gender change must have their original reproductive organs — including ovaries or testes — extracted and have a body that “appears to have parts to resemble the genital organs” of the gender they wish to register.
More than 7,800 Japanese citizens have had their genders officially changed, according to Justice Ministry statistics cited by public broadcaster NHK.
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