New Gender Marker Law Near Reality in Kyrgrzstan
BY Trudy Ring
November 13 2011 4:07 PM ET
The Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan is about to make a breakthrough in transgender rights that puts it ahead of many Western countries, with a new law allowing transgender people to change their name and gender marker on official documents without proof of medical intervention.
The move has been approved by 13 of the nation’s government ministries and awaits the prime minister’s signature to go into effect, according to the Global Fund for Women. It is the result of much effort by the Kyrgyzstan LGBT rights group Labrys, a Global Fund grantee.
Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic, has historically required a formal document to be issued by a medical institution for name and gender marker changes, but there were problems because there is no such process for medical professionals to follow, and the government has not created such a document.
“Our job was to develop legislation that would allow transgender people to be able to change their name and gender marker without any kind of medical interventions if they do not wish to do so,” said Labrys founder Anna Kirey. “When we started it was almost impossible to think that we would be able to cooperate with people at high levels in government. It took a lot of work, but seeing that cooperation is possible makes me very inspired.”
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