The Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation Decided: Transgender People cannot Change their Gender

Society | February 21, 2023, Tuesday // 08:54|  views


Transgender people cannot change their gender, according to a decision of the Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation, BNT reported.

With 28 votes against and 21 dissenting opinions, the civil panel of the court ruled that legally gender cannot be changed.

The interpretative case was initiated due to a conflicting practice in decisions of the Supreme Court on the issue of whether the prerequisites for changing the data in acts of civil status of an applicant who claims to be transgender derive from Art. 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms or the established legal order on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria understands the concept of "gender" only in its biological sense (sex) and does not allow the court to allow a change in the compiled acts of civil status regarding the gender of a transsexual person.

The supreme judges write in their reasons: "The development of the practice of the Constitutional Court in clarifying the actual content of the concept of gender and the effect of the last cited decision of the Constitutional Court under Article 149, Paragraph 1, Item 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria obliges the General Assembly of the Civil College (GACC) of the Supreme Court to accept that the biological explanation of the concept of gender – sex, is the only one included in it. The Constitution and all Bulgarian legislation are built on the understanding of the binary existence of the human species, gender (sex) is determined at birth and is lost at death, as the ‘concept’ gender has a meaningful application and determines the constitutional status of natural persons in relation to social relations and specifically to the institutions of marriage, family and motherhood".

According to the magistrates, the law of the European Union does not require a different conclusion on the question raised for interpretation. In the reasons of GACC, the practice of the Court of the European Union is cited, with the supreme judges stating that in its decisions the Court of Justice of the European Union leaves the legal regulation of civil status and marriage to the autonomy of the member states.

Editor’s note: In the Bulgarian language there is only one word for sex and gender: pol (пол) and it is usually used to refer to someone’s biological sex.

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Tags: court, gender, transgender, sex


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