Greece, do it right: new law must uphold the rights of transgender people

Transgender people in Greece are eagerly anticipating a fair reform to the system through which they can legally change their name and gender, after years of discrimination.

Greece has drafted a new law to reform legal gender recognition. In an important step forward, the new law expressly states that transgender persons can change their papers without the requirement of medical interventions or tests. But it still contains serious flaws.

  • It requires that a judge decides based on nothing but stereotypes, whether the person’s external appearance matches the gender the person identifies with.
  • It denies access to legal gender recognition to minors below 17 years, as well as to transgender refugees and migrants, leaving them at risk of discrimination, bullying and violence.
  • It also forces transgender people who are married to get divorced before they can change their legal gender, while if the transgender person has children their gender and name cannot change on their children's birth certificate, breaching the transgender person’s private life.

There is still time to change this. The draft law is due to be discussed in parliament and transgender rights activists in Greece are lobbying for changes. But they need our help.

If thousands of people around the world take action, we can encourage Greece to put in place a fair system and join the group of countries leading the way for transgender rights and equality.

Sign the petition: tell Stavros Kondonis, Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights, and Greek Parliamentarians, that they must not waste the opportunity to do this right.

They can ensure that the new law properly upholds the rights of transgender people by making the necessary changes, including:

  • Enabling transgender people to change their legal name and gender, based only on the gender they identify with, without any reference to their external appearance;
  • Removing blanket age restrictions to give minors the right to legally change their gender marker, taking into account their views;
  • Ensuring transgender people, including non-binary people, can change their legal name and gender through an out of court administrative procedure that is quick, transparent and easily accessible to all transgender people, including refugees and migrants.
  • Removing the requirement for married transgender people to get divorced and ensuring that a parent’s name and gender can change on their children’s birth certificate where applicable.