European Court Of Human Rights Rules Transgender Woman Must Divorce Before Her Gender Is Recognized

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that married transgender people living in countries where same-sex marriage is illegal must divorce if they want their true gender to be recognized

European court of human rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that married transgender people living in countries where same-sex marriage is illegal must divorce if they want their true gender to be recognized, reports Gay Star News.

The decision comes after Heli Hämäläinen, a Finnish transgender woman, was told on July 16th that she can only have her gender recognized if she divorces her wife.

The ECHR ruled that there is no obligation on states without same-sex marriage laws to marry two people of the same gender if one of the partners is transgender.

The couple, married for 18 years with one child, say that getting divorced would go against their religious convictions.

Although the ECHR recognized the difficulties of daily situations for transgender people without legal gender recognition, it said that forcing the couple to end their marriage and instead enter into a registered partnership should not be a problem.

Arja Voipio, Transgender Europe’s Co-Chair from Finland, said:

“Our thoughts are today with Heli Hämäläinen and her family. The Court decided that their rights as a family are inferior to a narrow minded opinion about what a family and marriage should look like. The verdict shows that transgender issues at stake are still not properly understood.”


  1. say what says

    “getting divorced would go against their religious convictions”

    But a sex change isn’t
    What is their religion?

  2. Carmelo says

    Wait, what’s their “true” gender? The article should avoid using arbitrary terms like this and stick with something more concrete such as “self-perceived” and “assigned.”

  3. Greg says

    Lol! Love this decision. Trans activists have done everything possible to undermine the movement for marriage equality. They resent LGBs working for something that is not a trans activist priority. So they have signed declarations belittling marriage. They have urged the MD legislature to vote against it. And they have urged voters to reject it. These thugs are willing to attack and hurt gay families for their own selfish purposes. Well now the lack of marriage equality will hurt a tranny, so maybe these thugs will now change their tune.

  4. anon says

    The irony is that Texas will recognize a marriage after a sex re-assignment surgery essentially makes the couple same-gendered.

  5. Thedrdonna says

    Hey Greg, post some links. I’ve seen plenty of trolls here make the same claims as you, and not one was able to back it up with anything.

  6. Kristen says

    Greg, Your comment doesn’t even make sense. I’m transgender. Every one of the hundreds of transgender people I know in the community support marriage equality. As a general rule of thumb, about 1/3 of trans people identify as straight, 1/3 as lesbian or gay, and 1/3 as Bi or pansexual. Why on earth would an entire community be against something that directly affects at least 2/3 of its members?

  7. ben~andy says

    @Greg, awfully easy to bash an entire group of people, saying that some are against us so they are all “thugs”. I don’t know any “group” of people who are all the same except in the generally “easy” ability we collectively seem to have to vilify the “other”, how ever we define them. And the way we define them is always to make “us” feel better about “us” because we are not “them”. I know gay people who bash the idea of marriage equality too. Shall we tar and feather them and take away their gay card [and all toaster ovens earned]?

    Trans people have a very hard fight ahead of them and will need all the allies they can find. I’d rather be on their side than yours. I’ll feel good if I’m on their side and bad if I’m on yours, so it makes the choice simple for me.