- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Parliament to discuss third (or no) gender option on ID cards
In the course of next year, the federal government will discuss whether to allow Belgian residents to denote their gender with an X on their identity cards – or to scrap the notion of gender altogether.
In 2018, Belgium passed a law allowing transgender people the right to change their gender on their ID without having to prove that a sex reassignment surgery had taken place. Previously this could only be done following full reassignment surgery – which not all trans people want – and a costly court hearing.
Several queer rights organisations filed a complaint with the Council of State because they felt the law did not go far enough in that it required trans people – and everyone else – to identify as male or female. This, they argued, left out people who are intersex – who have variations in sex-determining characteristics – or who are gender neutral.
The court agreed, ruling that the law had to be adapted to include a third option (or more) or to scrap the rule that gender is required at all on birth certificates and ID cards. “It is a sensitive subject ethically, I realise that,” justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD) told Bruzz. “So the discussion will involve all of parliament. I hope that this discussion can be open and frank.”