- The Superior Electoral Court has finally ruled to allow transgender candidates to use their preferred names during campaigns.
- In addition, the Supreme Court issued a decision that allowed trans people to change their name without medical proof or court authorization.
- Advocates welcomed the rulings, stating that they gave voice to people and organizations as they continue to seek for equality and advocate for transgender rights in the country.
Members of the transgender community in Brazil welcomed two historic legal rulings that bolstered trans rights in the country.
In a transgender news article posted by the Washington Blade on March 3, The Superior Electoral Court has finally ruled to allow transgender candidates to use their preferred names during campaigns and the Supreme Court issued a decision that allowed trans people to change their name without medical proof or court authorization.
Highest trans murder rate
Brazil has been notorious for its record-number cases of murder committed against cross-dressing and transgender individuals.
Last year, there were 179 cross-dressers and trans people who were killed. An estimate conducted by the National Association of Transvestites and Transgender People (ANTRA) revealed that there was at least one killing taking place every 48 hours.
But the above is not the most worrying figures. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics study released in December last year, the life expectancy of trans people and cross-dresser was 35 years, less than half of the life expectancy of the general populace at 75 years.
Thus, the ruling by the Superior Electoral Court that granted permission to all transgender candidates to use their preferred name, which will appear on electronic ballot boxes across the country, was considered to improve representation in the government.
It was also welcomed for its timing, as the country is going to hold a national general election or the positions president, state governors, senators, and legislators this year.
Legal change without medical proof
In addition, the requirement to present medical proof for legal name change was scrapped by the Supreme Court.
Since 2016, transgender people can change their preferred name as for as long as they could prove to the court that they underwent sex reassignment surgery.
With the Supreme Court’s ruling removing the said requirement, they can use their preferred name on their identification documents without going through any medical procedures or hormone therapy.
Consequently, applicants will no longer have to go through the litigation process and they would not have to present themselves to health professionals for an assessment.
While the vote was unanimous, judge Marco Aurelio proposed that a court authorization be required before trans people can request to change their name and gender at the civil registry. The majority, however, voted that such as a requirement was not necessary.
For Keila Simpson, ANTRA President, the two rulings gave voice to people and organizations like ANTRA as they continue to seek for equality and advocate for transgender rights.
“We have only now guaranteed a minimum of citizenship to transgender people with both of these rulings but there are still a lot of challenges to overcome,” said Simpson. “We believe that even if we had a law approved by the Congress criminalizing acts of violence against LGBT people, we would still have this many deaths, because we live in a country where it is allowed to kill, where religious fanaticism sharpens its knife daily to decimate our community, where the prejudice faced by transgender people starts inside their homes.”
She continued, “So it is important to say that for a marginalized community like ours, that comes from having no rights, no nothing, being able to decide our name is a lot, but we are yet to conquer our right to safe living.”