South Korea’s Supreme Court has ruled that a transsexual can legally change his gender to male.

The court decreed that the 51-year-old could have his gender recognised on official documents.

The court heard opinions from religious leaders and medical professionals over the issue which would change the law regarding the Family Register.

Lawyers for the man trying to bring a change in the law claim his social and work life were affected by still being recorded as a female.

His lawyer said: “Please consider the human rights to dignity and value, and the right to pursue happiness, and correct the Family Register to indicate male gender.”

Professor Lee Moo-sang, an expert in conducting gender reassignment surgery told the court, “There must be standards for determining both medically and legally if a person needs gender reassignment surgery.

“There have been times when I’ve thought, in the midst of surgery, ‘What if God is angry at me for cutting off something that was not flawed?’

“If there is a physical or mental abnormality, we have to find out what orientation the patient is closer to, and put them where they belong.”

But a theologian criticised the change, he said: “Gender is absolutely at the discretion of the Creator, I am completely against gender reassignment surgery, and correcting the Family Register.”

The case reflects an increase in requests for official recognition from South Korea’s transgender community.