Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A Path for Transsexual Marriages in Japan?

On July 16, 2004, the Japanese government has enacted a new law entitled "Sei Doitsu Shogaisha no Seibetsu Toriatukai no Tokurei ni Kansuru Horitu [the law regarding the issue of GID (Gender Identity Disorder) patients' sex ]". Basically, this law allows GID patients to change the description of their biological sex on the family registry form (Koseki Tohon). The law only includes singles with no childern and who have undergone medical and mental treatment in the past, meaning that the person has had "mental disorder" because of being transgender and had a surgery to change his/her original biological sex to the other. OK, I have a lot of things to say about this law, but I'll skip that part. Otherwise, it's going to be too long. Anyhow, Okinawa, Hiroshima and Tokyo Katei Saibansho (a domestic court -- one type of lower court that deals with divorces, juvenile deviance, etc., it is a place for negotiation and not for accusation) approved some applicants' allegation to change the description of their biological sex in the family registry form.
Well, what's so important about this? To file a marriage in Japan, you need to submit family registry forms (1 from each person) along wit the marriage form to the municipal office. A family registry form shows the track of your family members, such as name, age, the place of birth, relation to the head of household, and sex (the submission of this form is still very controversial, because one can easily detect his/her national origin, social class, etc.). Technically speaking, as long as the sex on the family registry form is the opposite sex, i.e. one is from a male and the other is from a female, there is no legal barrier for transsexuals to gain a legally sanctioned marriage. I haven't seen such cases yet, but I think we'll see them in the near future.


At 11:17 AM, Blogger Drek said...

This may not be the most progressive thing I could say, but...

I sure hope somebody preserves the original sex data somewhere. I'd be very interested to seeing what sort of analyses we could do with it in ten or twenty years, particularly since Japan is such a traditional/repressive culture.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Jason Mulgrew said...


jason mulgrew
internet quasi-celebrity


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