Who should decide when a child can change gender?

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01/13/2020

It was a case that tore a family apart – and exposed the faultlines in an increasingly bitter global row over the rights of a child to define their own gender. The battle late last year in Texas between two parents over the gender identity of their child sparked a raft of bills across the United States that have been dubbed anti-LGBT by campaigners and pro-family by conservative groups. A global rise in the number of teenagers seeking to go through gender reassignment has also spurred a series of court cases around the world around the age at which young people are able to choose to transition – and who has the final word. The escalating debate has revealed a gap in global laws, pitting family and religious groups against trans activists for legal rulings on whether the decision to transition is up to the child, parents or doctor. For Currey Cook, counsel at LGBT+ rights group Lambda Legal, conservative groups have focused on trans minors as “an easy target for people who are anti-LGBTQ in general”.

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