The Supreme Court said Tuesday that it had revised a regulation on transsexuals' legal sex change approval to delete the clause stipulating that when a man changes his legal sex to female, he should have already fulfilled military service or been exempted from it.
The clause was designed to prevent men from dodging the mandatory service by getting a sex change. Male-turned-female transsexuals, who have not changed their legal sex, used to be exempted from the service due to their "mental illness."
"It was not easy to tell whether the applicants aimed to dodge the service or not, so we decided to remove the clause," a court official said.
The revision will enable male-to-female transsexuals to change the records more easily, he said.
Military service was one of seven conditions that the court prepared as a guideline in approving transsexuals' legal sex change after its first approval in September 2006. The guideline says an applicant should be aged 20 and over, have never been married and have no children; have suffered disparity between his or her biological sex and legal sex; have undergone a sex change operation; and be unlikely to change to his or her original sex again.
It also includes that the applicant has no intention to take advantage of the legal sex change in crimes; the change should not have grave influence on his or her family relationship or have negative influence on society; and the applicant, if a male-turned-female, should have fulfilled military service or been exempted from it.
As to the guideline, the National Human Rights Commission recommended last November the top court revise or delete it, saying it infringed on transsexuals' human rights. The court accepted the military service clause among the guidelines, along with the clause on influence on family relationship, and deleted them.
The number of those changing their legal sex is on the rise 10 people in 2006, 15 in 2007 and 29 last year. Among them, 48 changed from male to female, while six did so from female to male, according to the court.