France upholds ruling barring gender-neutral person from legal recognition
France’s top court of appeals has upheld a ruling which forbids a person from being officially recognised as gender-neutral.
In August 2015, a family court in the central French city of Tours ruled that the anonymous 65-year-old psychotherapist should be recognised as gender-neutral on government documents.
But in March 2016, an appeals court in Orléans rejected the ruling.
The appellant took the case to France’s highest court of appeals, but received the disappointing ruling today, as reported by France 24 with AFP.
When summing up its decision on the landmark case, the court stated that “the duality” of gender as a civil status was “necessary for social and legal organisation”.
The appellant was born with an indeterminate gender, but assigned a male gender on their birth certificate.
The person, who identifies as intersex, was referred to in the initial case as “ile,” which was a combination of ‘he’ and ‘she’ in French.
Appealing the ruling in August, the state prosecutor raised fears that a number of legal cases will be launched, resulting in a ‘third sex’.
Acting for the psychotherapist, Mila Petkova argued that a male identity was used to address the person for their entire life.
The court concluded that this was “pure fiction”.
“It was imposed upon him for his entire existence without him ever being able to express his deepest feelings,” the ruling said.
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The court concluded in the August 20 ruling that the person has the “right to private life”.
It also decided that “the birth certificate of Monsieur X, which for the past 65 years has attributed to him a masculine gender, should be rectified and now include a ‘neutral status’”.
In Britain, Stonewall called for a non-binary option to be added to passports last month, in a move which the charity said would also help trans people.
Days earlier, banking giant HSBC marked International Transgender Day of Visibility by introducing 10 new gender-neutral titles for customers.
In August last year, Nepal joined the few countries which allow third gender passports, as it issues its first one.
The only other countries which allow third-gender or gender ‘X’ passports are Australia and New Zealand.