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Japanese court
rejects transsexual's request to change gender

Japanese court
rejects transsexual's request to change gender

A Japanese court rejected a male-to-female transsexual's request to change her officially registered sex because she already has two children who were born before the operation, a news report said Monday. The Gifu Prefecture family court on January 16 turned down a sex-change registration request filed by Atsuko Mizuno, 44, Kyodo News agency reported Mizuno as saying. Gifu is located 171 miles west of Tokyo. Mizuno said the court denied the request because the 2004 law permitting changing one's registered sex stipulates that the individual must be unmarried with no children, Kyodo reported. Family court officials declined to comment on the report, citing privacy concerns. The 2004 law allows people to change their registered sex if they've had a sex-change operation and have been diagnosed by at least two doctors as having gender-identity disorder. Applicants must be aged 20 or older, unmarried with no children, and not be able to reproduce. The rationale for including the stipulation regarding children is that children would be confused should a parent change his or her registered sex, according to the home page of a transgender support group that Mizuno coheads. Mizuno filed the request because she wanted to demonstrate "that it is the legislation and the family court ruling that are making things confusing," she said, according to Kyodo. Mizuno was married and had two children before being diagnosed with a gender-identity disorder in 2001 and undergoing a sex-change operation, the agency said. Mizuno and the children's mother are divorced, the report added. A Japanese court granted a transsexual's sex-change registration request for the first time in July 2004, shortly after the new law was implemented. (AP)

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