The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled against the government of Turkey on Tuesday in favor of a trans man who was denied the right to gender reassignment surgery unless he agreed to undergo sterilization reports Buzzfeed:
The case began in 2005, when a Turkish court ruled that a trans man identified in court documents as Y.Y. could not undergo gender reassignment surgery because he was not infertile, a requirement for gender reassignment under Turkish law. He went to court rather than submit to medical sterilization. A Turkish court ultimately allowed him to move forward with gender reassignment in 2013, but the ECHR still heard his original challenge and awarded him damages of 7,500 euros in damages for the years he was unable to access gender reassignment surgery.
“The respect due to the physical integrity of the concerned party would be in opposition to his having to undergo” sterilization, the court ruled in a unanimous decision, and therefore a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, the treaty on which the ECHR’s authority is based. “The resulting interference in the claimant’s rights with respect to his private life cannot thus be said to have been ‘necessary’ in a democratic society.”
However, the ruling only addresses sterilization requirements, and it does not address other barriers impeding trans people from gender reassignment surgery such as having psychiatric professionals sign off on requests.