The European Court of Human Rights has convicted Romania of violating the rights of two transgender people by refusing to recognize their gender identity because they had not undergone sex-change operations.
The court which is based in Strasbourg on Tuesday ruled that the Romanian state violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which upholds the “right to respect for private and family life.”
It ordered the country to pay a total of nearly 26,000 euros to both individuals in moral and non-pecuniary damage, costs, and expenses.
The applicants, identified only as X and Y by the court are Romanians who were born in 1976 and 1982, respectively, and registered as female at birth.
X moved to Britain in 2014 and obtained male given names there after Romanian courts refused to change his gender. X sued Romania in 2013, a statement said.
Y was issued with a new Romanian identity card in 2018 indicating a male forename and giving his gender as male, but only after he had surgery the previous year. He brought legal action in Romania in 2011.
The court said in its statement that Romanian national courts „presented the applicants, who did not wish to undergo gender reassignment surgery, with an impossible dilemma: either they had to undergo the surgery against their better judgement…or they had to forego recognition of their gender identity.”
The court said that Romania’s position placed the pair in a situation of „vulnerability, humiliation, and anxiety.”