Czech Republic's top court rules that surgery is not required to officially change gender

FILE - People march during the LGBTQ+ parade at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023. On Tuesday May 7, 2024 , the Czech Republic's highest legal authority ruled to dismiss part of a law requiring people to undergo surgery, including sterilisation and change of sexual organs, to be able to officially change their gender. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic’s highest court on Tuesday ruled to dismiss part of a law requiring people to undergo gender-affirmation surgery, including sterilization, in order to officially change their gender.

The Constitutional Court said the requirements are “unconstitutional” and “in conflict with the fundamental right of trans people to have protected their physical integrity and personal autonomy in connection with their human dignity.”

Only two of the court’s 15 judges opposed the verdict, which cannot be appealed. Lawmakers must change the affected sections of the law by the middle of next year.

The court ruled at the request of a person who was seeking a gender change. The authorities refused to register him as a man because he had not undergone surgery.

The Czech practice was criticized by LGBTQ+ rights groups.

The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, was one of the last European Union countries to have such conditions in law.