In a step forward for LGBTQ rights, Japan’s top court has ruled that forcing people to be sterilized to change gender is unconstitutional.
Currently, Japan requires people to have their reproductive organs removed before they can legally change their gender.
They must also meet several other conditions.
People must be diagnosed with gender dysphoria by two doctors, undergo transition surgery, be older than 18, not married and not have any children under 18.
The requirements have been widely criticized by human rights and medical groups.
On Wednesday Oct. 25, Japan’s supreme court unanimously ruled that the sterilization requirement violates the country’s constitution.
The verdict comes after a trans woman brought forward a case when she was unable to change her gender from the biologically assigned male to female in her family registry.
The court ruled that the requirement “restricted her freedom not to harm herself against her will.”
The government must now follow up and amend the law, according to Human Rights Watch.
However, the court did not rule on the requirement for transition surgery, instead sending it back to a lower court for further consideration.