Dictionary and translator for handheld
New : sensagent is now available on your handheld
A windows (pop-into) of information (full-content of Sensagent) triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites !
With a SensagentBox, visitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.com. Choose the design that fits your site.
Improve your site content
Add new content to your site from Sensagent by XML.
Crawl products or adds
Get XML access to reach the best products.
Index images and define metadata
Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata.
Please, email us to describe your idea.
Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.
||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. No cleanup reason has been specified. Please help improve this article if you can; the talk page may contain suggestions.|
||This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2010)|
|Androgyne · Genderqueer
Hijra · Sex and/or gender diverse Third gender / Third sex
Transgender · Trans man
Trans woman · Trigender · Two-Spirit
|Bigender · Cross-dressing
Intersexuality · Questioning
Gender identity disorder
Androphilia and gynephilia
|Legal aspects of transsexualism
People · Topics
|List of transgender-related topics · Transgender portal|
Transsexual people are those who establish a permanent identity with the gender that is not typically associated with their biological sex, identified at birth. As most legal jurisdictions have at least some recognition of the two traditional genders at the exclusion of other categories, this raises many legal issues and aspects of transsexualism. Most of these issues tend to be located in what is generally considered family law, especially the issue of marriage, as well as the ability of a transsexual person to benefit from a partner's insurance or social security.
The degree of legal recognition provided to transsexualism varies widely throughout the world. Many countries now extend legal recognition of sex reassignment by permitting a change of legal gender on the individual's birth certificate. Many transsexual people have their bodies permanently changed by surgical means or semi-permanently changed by hormonal means (see sex reassignment therapy). In many countries, some of these modifications are required for legal recognition. In a few, the legal aspects are directly tied to health care; i.e. the same bodies or doctors decide whether a person can move forward in their treatment, and the subsequent processes automatically incorporate both matters.
The amount to which non-transsexual transgender people can benefit from the legal recognition given to transsexual people, varies. In some countries, an explicit medical diagnosis of transsexualism is (at least formally) necessary. In others, a diagnosis of gender identity disorder, or simply the fact that one has established a non-conforming gender role, can be sufficient for some or all of the legal recognition available.
A majority of countries in Europe give transsexual people the right to at least change their first name, most of which also provide a way of changing birth certificates. Several European countries recognize the right of transsexuals to marry in accordance with their post-operative sex. Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom all recognize this right. The Convention on the recognition of decisions regarding a sex change provides regulations for mutual recognition of sex change decisions and has been signed by five European countries and ratified by Spain and the Netherlands.
Since March 15, 2007, a new law in Spain allows transsexual people to modify their name and legal gender in all public documents and records on the basis of a personal request, regardless of whether they have received genital reassignment surgery or not. However, medical (hormonal) treatment for at least two years and a diagnosis of gender dysphoria are both prerequisites. The hormonal treatment is not a prerequisite if there are reasons, relating to health or age, not to follow it.
The first milestone sentence in the case of gender shifting was given by Warsaw's Voivode Court in 1964. The court reasoned that it be possible, in face of civil procedure and acting on civil registry records, to change one's legal gender after their genital reassignment surgery had been conducted. In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled that in some cases, when the attributes of the individual's preferred gender were predominant, it is possible to change one's legal gender even before genital reassignment surgery.
Although in the Polish legal system there is not any specific institution or act considering it, the right to change one's legal gender is generally recognized. Article 189 of Polish Civil Procedure Code allows an individual to ask court to determine their right or legal relations in many contexts, including gender and civil registry records. On the grounds of this provision, Polish courts often approve legal claims for modyfing registry records, name and all other public documents. At the same time, it is practically necessary that the court should be provided with medical evidences of one's transsexuality.
In 2011, Anna Grodzka, the first transsexual MP in the history of Europe who underwent a sex-change operation was appointed. In the Polish Parliamentary Election 2011 she gained 19 337 votes (45 079 voted for her party in the constituency) in the City of Cracow and came sixth  in her electoral district (928 914 people, voter turnout 55,75%). Grodzka is reportedly the only transsexual person with ministerial responsibilities in the world since 10 November 2011.
Historically in the United Kingdom, transsexual people have succeeded in having their birth certificates changed and marriages conducted. This was first legally challenged in the 1960s, in the case of Ross Alexander, where the Court of Session ruled that the certificate change was legitimate for the purposes of inheriting a title, a decision later upheld by the Home Secretary. However, the case was held secretly and in a Scottish court, and there was not a publicly reported case in an English court until 1970. That year, in the case of Corbett v Corbett, Arthur Corbett attempted to annul his marriage to April Ashley on the grounds that transsexuals were not recognised by English law. It was decided that, for the purposes of marriage, a post-operative transsexual was considered to be of the sex they were assigned at birth.
This set the precedent for the coming decades. People who thought that they had existing valid marriages, turned out not to, and the previous unofficial changing of birth certificates was stopped.
Even so, transsexual people were able to change their names freely, to have their passports and driving licences altered, to have their National Insurance details changed, and so forth. A piece of legislation was also introduced to ban discrimination against transsexual people for employment.
In the 1980s and 1990s the pressure group, Press for Change, helped people take several cases to the European Court of Human Rights about this issue. In Rees v. United Kingdom, 1986, it was decided that the UK was not violating any human rights, but that they should keep the situation under review. In the 2002 case Goodwin v. United Kingdom, it was decided that the rights to privacy and family life were being infringed.
In contrast to systems elsewhere in the world, the Gender Recognition process does not require applicants to be post-operative. They need only demonstrate that they have suffered gender dysphoria, and have lived in the 'acquired gender' for two years, and intend to continue doing so until death. There are strict rules governing the requirements for granting of a certificate; more details may be found on the GIRES website.
Since 1980, Germany has a law that regulates the change of first names and legal gender. It is called "Gesetz über die Änderung der Vornamen und die Feststellung der Geschlechtszugehörigkeit in besonderen Fällen (de:Transsexuellengesetz – TSG)" (Law about the change of first name and determination of gender identity in special cases (Transsexual law – TSG)).
In Germany, as in many countries whose law is at least partly based on the Napoleonic Code, the first name has to be gender-specific. One can either obtain a change of name alone, and proceed later with a change of legal gender, if possible or desired, or obtain both in a single legal procedure.
For both, two official expert opinions have to be presented to a court stating that:
The change of name may be revoked if the person marries and then fathers or gives birth to a child that was conceived after the name change became valid.
For the change of legal gender, it was also once required that the person
these requirements were finally removed in a 2011 revision of the TSG.
Originally, the law stated that neither change of name nor legal gender were available for people under 25 years of age. This condition has been declared void by the courts, and today there is no minimum age. Until 2008, it also stated that the person had to be unmarried.
The TSG applies only to German citizens; there are exceptions only for non-German citizens with very specific legal status, such as stateless people living legally in Germany.
Several court decisions have further specified several matters. For example, a person with only a name change has the right to be called "Herr" or "Frau" (Mr. or Mrs.) according to their first name, not their legal gender; similarly, documents have to be issued reflecting their actual gender identity, not legal gender. Job references, certifications and similar from the time before the change of name may to be reissued with the new name, so effectively there is no way for a new employer to learn about the change of name and/or legal gender. Also, people with only a name change do not have to divulge their legal gender to employers.
|This unreferenced section requires citations to ensure verifiability.|
In the last couple of years, the TSG has come under intense criticism not only from the trans community, but also some medical caregivers. This criticism is directed against both the way the law is applied, especially concerning the way "expert opinions" are done, and the wording of the law itself.
Particularly the following parts of the TSG are criticised:
The professional retainers of the court (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc.) can be very expensive. Some professionals wish to see their theories tested in court, including intelligence and/or various psychiatric disorders. This results in assessments which are lengthy (several months are not unusual), costly and humiliating.
Many professionals also consider only those people as transsexual, who live in a gender role that the professional considers "appropriate"– resulting in problems for trans women who sometimes do not wear skirts or trans men with hair that is considered "too long". This can be especially problematic for lesbian trans women and gay trans men.
Since the courts usually impose their retained professionals on the applicants, there is no way to choose one's own professional witnesses. However, not every expert who is asked for an expert opinion will work according to such questionable "guidelines". Since there are many regional differences, there is a certain amount of "trans-tourism"; people (at least officially) moving to the circuit of courts who are known to appoint "liberal" or "reasonable" experts. However, the general problems with "professional opinions" have led to demands to abandon these entirely, or at least to lower the required number to one and to lower the formal requirement for it. Many of this criticism applies also to "expert opinions", "letters of recommendation" or similar papers regarding medical procedures. The same problems with hired professionals of the court occur in many other countries.
In July 2008, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that a transsexual woman who transitioned to female after having been married to a woman for more than 50 years could remain married to her wife and change her legal gender to female. It gave the legislature one year to effect the necessary change in the relevant law. 
|This unreferenced section requires citations to ensure verifiability.|
Based on several court decisions, some dating back to the late 1970s, medical treatment of transsexualism (and in fact all gender identity disorders) has to be paid by health insurance, which is mandatory in Germany. Like all treatments that have to be paid for by health insurance, "medical necessity" has to be shown in each particular case. This can result in rather lengthy procedures, although this is not always the case. Likewise, the less "medical necessity" can be shown, the more difficult it becomes to get coverage. This is particularly true for surgeries like Facial Feminization Surgery, but also occasionally for more necessary matters as the construction of a clitoris.
The regulation of coverage of medical costs is formally unrelated to the TSG; in practice, there can be overlaps, for example with expert opinions.
|This article is outdated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. Please see the talk page for more information. (September 2009)|
In the Republic of Ireland, it is not possible for a transsexual person to alter their birth certificate. A case was taken in the High Court by Dr. Lydia Foy in 2002, which saw her case being turned down as a birth certificate was deemed to be an historical document.[dead link] Even so, it is currently possible for anyone to undertake a change of name either through common usage or through a deed of change of name.
Dr. Foy had taken new proceedings to the High Court relying on the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in the Goodwin and 'I' cases. Her application was heard between 17 and 26 April 2007, and judgment was reserved. Judgment was given in the High Court on 19 October 2007. The Judge held that the Irish State had failed to respect Dr. Foy's rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights by not providing any mechanism for her to obtain a new birth certificate in her female gender. He indicated that he would grant a declaration that Irish law in this area was incompatible with the Convention. He also said he would have found that her right to marry under Article 12 of the Convention had been infringed as well if that had been relevant. On 14 February 2008. the Judge finally granted a declaration that sections of the Civil Registration Act 2004 were incompatible with Article 8 of the Convention. This was the first declaration of incompatibility made under the European Convention of Human Rights Act passed in 2003. The written judgment is so far only available in an uncorrected form.
The Government had two months within which to appeal to the Supreme Court. If they did not, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) would have to report the declaration to the Oireachtas (Parliament) and would have to indicate what measures his government proposed to take, to comply with Ireland's obligations under the European Convention. In April 2008, the Government indicated that it would be appealing the High Court ruling to the Supreme Court. The Government has since dropped its appeal and may introduce leglisation recognising one's biological sex following sex reassignment surgery. The junior party in government, the Green Party wished to have psychological gender identity recognised while the main party in government, Fianna Fáil wished to have legal gender recognised only.
The Constitution of South Africa forbids discrimination on the basis of sex, gender and sexual orientation (amongst other grounds). The Constitutional Court has indicated that "sexual orientation" includes transsexuality.
In 2003 Parliament enacted the Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Act, which allows a transgender person who has undergone medical or surgical gender reassignment to apply to the Department of Home Affairs to have the sex description altered on their birth record. Once the birth record is altered they can be issued with a new birth certificate and identity document, and are considered "for all purposes" to be of the new sex.
The specific definition of gender reassignment in this Act refers to reassigning a person's sex by changing physiological or other sexual characteristics, and includes any part of such a process. Thus the transgender person is not required to have had genital surgery in order to have the sex description altered.
The application must be accompanied by:
Intersexed persons may equally apply to the Department of Home Affairs to have the sex description altered on their birth record. The application has to be accompanied by reports stating the nature and results of any procedures carried out, if any. The act indicates that the Intersex person is not obliged to have had hormonal, surgically or medical intervention. The application needs to be accompanied by reports from a medical practitioner indicating that the person is intersex as well as a report from a qualified psychologist or social worker corroborating that the applicant is living and has lived stably and satisfactorily,for an unbroken period of at least two years, in the gender role corresponding to the sex description under which he or she seeks to be registered.
Pursuant to the U.S. Const., Amend. 10, which reserves to the states (or to the people) all powers not assigned to the federal government, the legal classification of characteristic sex is state jurisdiction in the United States. The principle is generally extended to the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, though the federal government has power to overrule any decision those non-state entities might make. Thus, the legal gender of a transsexual (as well as a transsex or intersex) individual in the United States does not have one answer but 56 answers – one for each state, the District of Columbia, and the five inhabited territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands).
|This unreferenced section requires citations to ensure verifiability.|
Jurisdiction over legal classification of characteristic sex in Canada is assigned to the provinces and territories. This includes legal change of gender classification, for which the requirements vary from one sub-federal jurisdiction to another.
In July 2003, the parliament of Japan unanimously approved a new law that enables transsexual people to change their legal sex. It is called “性同一性障害者の性別の取扱いの特例に関する法律” (Act on Special Cases in Handling Gender for People with Gender Identity Disorder) The law, effective on 16 July 2004, however, has controversial conditions which demand the applicants be both unmarried and childless. On 28 July 2004, Naha Family Court in Okinawa Prefecture, allowed an official sex-change of a transsexual woman, generally believed to be the first court approval under the new law. Despite the fact that sex reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy are mandatory for a legal sex change, it is not paid for by national health insurance.
|This unreferenced section requires citations to ensure verifiability.|
In South Korea, it is possible for transgender individuals to change their legal gender, although it depends on the decision of the judge for each case. Since the 1990s, however, it has been approved in most of the cases. The legal system in Korea does not prevent marriage once a person has changed their legal gender.
In 2006, the Supreme Court of Korea ruled that transsexuals have the right to alter their legal papers to reflect their reassigned sex. A trans woman can be registered, not only as female, but also as being 'born as a woman'.
While same-sex marriage is not approved by South Korean law, a transsexual woman obtains the marital status of 'female' automatically when she marries to a man, even if she has previously been a 'male' on paper.
There is no legislation expressly allowing transsexuals to legally change their gender in Malaysia. The relevant legislations are the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1957 and National Registration Act 1959. Therefore, judges currently exercise their discretion in interpreting the law and defining the gender. There are conflicting decisions on this matter. There is a case in 2003 where the court allowed a transsexual to change her gender indicated in the identity card, and granted a declaration that she is a female. However, in 2005, in another case, the court refused to amend the gender of a transsexual in the identity card and birth certificate. Both cases applied the United Kingdom case of Corbett v Corbett in defining legal gender.
The Supreme Court of the Philippines Justice Leonardo Quisumbing on September 12, 2008, allowed Jennifer Cagandahan, 27, to change both his birth certificate, gender and name from Jennifer to Jeff, to male: “We respect respondent’s congenital condition and his mature decision to be a male. Life is already difficult for the ordinary person. We cannot but respect how respondent deals with his unordinary state and thus help make his life easier, considering the unique circumstances in this case. In the absence of a law on the matter, the court will not dictate on respondent concerning a matter so innately private as one’s sexuality and lifestyle preferences, much less on whether or not to undergo medical treatment to reverse the male tendency due to rare medical condition, congenital adrenal hyperplasia. In the absence of evidence that respondent is an ‘incompetent’ and in the absence of evidence to show that classifying respondent as a male will harm other members of society ... the court affirms as valid and justified the respondent’s position and his personal judgment of being a male." Court records showed that – at 6, he had small ovaries; at 13, his ovarian structure was minimized and he had no breasts and did not menstruate. The psychiatrist testified that "he has both male and female sex organs, but was genetically female, and that since his body secreted male hormones, his female organs did not develop normally." The Philippines National Institutes of Health said "people with congenital adrenal hyperplasia lack an enzyme needed by the adrenal gland to make the hormones cortisol and aldosterone.[dead link]
This, however, applies only to cases involving congenital adrenal hyperplasia and other intersex situations. The Philippine Supreme Court has also ruled that Filipino citizens do not have the right to legally change their sex on official documents (driver's license, passport, birth certificate, Social Security records, etc.) if they are transsexual and have undergone sexual reassignment surgery. The Court said that if the man, now anatomically a female, were to be allowed to legally change his sex it would have “serious and wide-ranging legal and public policy consequences,” citing the institution of marriage in particular.
Estelle Asmodelle was Australia's first legal transsexual with the Births, Deaths and Marriages Dept. (NSW Government). As cited by (18 June 1987 – Australian Telegraph Newspaper.) This was the first time in Australian law history that an adult transsexual was permitted to change their birth certificate to a different sex and soon afterwards the passport law also changed allowing transsexuals to be issued passports with the new sex depicted.
Australia is now one of only a few countries where legal status of the new sex following sex affirmation surgery is granted via a new full birth certificate. Birth certificates are within the jurisdiction of the states, whereas marriage and passports are matters for the Commonwealth. All Australian jurisdictions now recognise the affirmed sex of an individual after surgery unless the person is married.
|Wikisource has the complete text of:|
Re Kevin - validity of marriage of transsexual ( FamCA 1074) is a groundbreaking judgment of the Family Court of Australia, concerning both transsexualism as a phenomenon, the human rights of those who experience transsexualism and the right of people who have experienced transsexualism to enter into a legally valid marriage.
Kevin, an affirmed male, married Jennifer before the case started. Prior to the marriage Kevin had affirmed his male sexual identity by underging hormonal and other sex affirmation treatment; including a double mastectomy and full hysterectomy but not the construction of a phallus. His legal sex had been changed on his birth certificate and other documentation and since his affirmation of his male sex (including as at the time of his marriage and the trial) he had lived in the Australian culture and community as a male.
When the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Australia advised the couple through his department that in his considered opinion their marriage was not a legally valid one and that the couple (or at least Kevin) was liable to be prosecuted and possibly imprisoned, the couple sought the legal advice and representation of Australian lawyer Rachael Wallbank, herself an affirmed female, and commenced proceedings in the Family Court of Australia against the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Australia to have their marriage declared legally valid.
The question to be determined by the court was whether Kevin was a man for the purposes of the marriage law of Australia and, hence, whether the marriage ceremony he had undertaken with Jennifer was a valid one. Further, at the time of the trial the couple had one child as a result of approved assisted technology. Their second child was born at the time of the hearing of the appeal proceedings. English law had previously decided, in the case of Corbett v Corbett (1971), that sex affirmation including genital reassignment/rehabilitation surgery (then and sometimes still geniticentrically called "Sex Reassignment Surgery") would not be recognized for purposes of marriage. That decision had been generally followed throughout the world; including the United States of America. Justice Richard Chisholm (the judge in Re Kevin) found fault with both the legal bases and internal logic of this decision and held it did not bind or represent Australian law.
Significantly, Justice Chisholm found that the extensive international and Australian expert evidence in Re Kevin did not support the primary "factual" proposition in the Corbett decision that a causal (and hence legal) distinction could and should be made between the natural variations in human sexual formation sometimes called "intersex" (in Corbett and other similar decisions said to have a biological causation) and transsexualism (in Corbett and other similar decisions said to be a psychological disorder). Chisholm J found that on the balance of expert evidence, both as presented in Re Kevin and generally in cases throughout the world dealing with the issue, no such factual distinction was possible and that transsexualism was an example of natural intersexual diversity in human sexual formation and not a pychological disorder or illness.
Justice Chisholm stated that to determine a person's sex for the purpose of the law of marriage in Australia all relevant matters need to be considered, including: the person's biological and physical characteristics at birth (including gonads, genitals and chromosomes); the person's life experiences, including the sex in which he or she is brought up and the person's attitude to it; the person's self-perception as a man or woman; the extent to which the person has functioned in society as a man or a woman; any hormonal, surgical or other medical sex affirmation (including genital reassignment/rehabilitation) treatments the person has undergone, and the consequences of such treatment as well as the person's biological, psychological and physical characteristics at the time of the marriage, including (if they can be identified) any biological features of the person's brain that are associated with a particular sex.
His Honour stated that it is clear from the Australian authorities that "post-operative transsexuals" will normally be members of their affirmed sex. Holding that the sex of a person for the purposes of marriage is their sex at the time of the marriage, the judgement found Kevin to be a man within the ordinary everyday meaning of the word in Australian life and declared the marriage between Kevin and Jennifer to be valid. The Attorney-General appealed.
The Full Court of the Family Court, upholding the decision at first instance, determined that the reasoning of the Family Division of the UK High Court in W v W, an intersex marriage case, was a correct statement of the law in Australia and that people with transsexualism, like others with intersex conditions, should be able to choose their sex, affirm it and marry as a member of that sex.
Re Kevin has been subsequently extensively quoted and relied upon in international jurisprudence (including in the United States of America and in the European Court of Human Rights) concerning the civil and human rights of people who experience transsexualism; including young people with transsexualism who are still regularly deprived of their right to affirm their innate sex without being punished by family and culture, change their legal sex in order to make it intelligably consistent with their affirmed/lived sex as well as being able to freely access medically approved sex affirmation treatment.
Until recently, transsexual people in Australia were able to be issued an interim passport with their self-identified gender stated upon it, in order to travel overseas for sex reassignment surgery (SRS). However, a recent "clarification" by the Minister for foreign affairs and Trade, Mr. Alexander Downer, stated that a person may not have a new passport or interim passport issued without a birth certificate stating their gender. Instead they may be issued a "Document of Identity"
A department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson has said; "The department has an obligation to ensure that the national passport reflects the official identity of the bearer and it would be inconsistent ... to continue to issue passports, albeit limited in validity, to persons in a sex other than that shown in the records held by the ... births, deaths and marriages registrar,"
Due to the interpretation of the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961, Birth certificates are not able to be changed where the person is currently married. In the case of homosexual-identified transpeople, to obtain a divorce would require them to perjure themselves by stating that their relationship was irretrievably broken. Due to the aforementioned "clarification", such people are also unable to be issued a passport, even if they previously obtained an interim passport in order to have SRS.
Grace Abrams appealed the minister's rejection of her application for a permanent passport. Her application with the administrative appeals tribunal was upheld, stating that she was able to validate her identity as a female person, and that her inability to present a female birth certificate due to state legislation was not valid grounds for rejecting her application [dead link]