Lawmakers in Uruguay have approved an
historic transgender law that sets the legal guidelines for people
who want to change their gender, the AFP reported.
The bill was approved on October 5 in
the Senate and last month by the country's lower chamber, the Chamber
of Deputies. It now heads to the desk of President Tabare Vazquez,
who recently signed bills that grant gay and lesbian couples the
right to civil unions and adoption.
“Every person has the right to freely
develop their personality in accordance with the proper identity of
their gender, independent of their biological, genetic, anatomic …
identity,” the bill reads.
The measure allows people over the age
of 18 to alter their name and sex on all official documents,
including birth certificates and passports. Applicants cannot
request a second change for at least five years.
Senators approved the bill unanimously
over the objections of the Roman Catholic Church and conservatives.
Transgender rights activists have
hailed the legislation.
Church officials, on the other hand,
have criticized all three pro-gay bills, and have called on voters to
oust lawmakers who supported the measures on Sunday, October 25,