President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal has vetoed a bill that would make it easier for people to change their legal name and gender. The proposed bill would allow everyone who is at least 16 years old to change their name gender without a medical test, but would also require parental permission.
Rebelo de Sousa based his decision on the fact that he wants a medical evaluation to be added to the a bill as a prerequisite for the gender change. His main reasoning behind this decision, according to BBC, is the possibility of gender reassignment surgery in the future. If the individual might seek out that surgery then it would be better, in the president’s opinion, to get a medical evaluation at the beginning of the process.
Parliament could decide to amend the bill by adding that medical evaluation or, similar to the United States veto process, they could pass the bill as is if they had a majority of the votes. The first vote for this bill received 109 votes out of 230, not far off from what they’ll need the second time around.
In 2016, the Portuguese parliament overturned a veto and legalized adoption by gay couples, which passed with 137 votes.
Currently only a handful of countries in Europe allow for legal gender recognition by self determination. The most recent being Norway in 2016 and Belgium in 2017.
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