The Uruguayan Government Has Passed One of the Most Progressive Trans Rights Bills the World Has Seen

Lead Photo: Creative Commons by torbakhopper is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Creative Commons by torbakhopper is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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In Uruguay, the government is moving toward true parity. Last week, the Uruguayan congress passed a groundbreaking law giving the transgender community increased protections.

The law, known as the Ley Integral de Persona Trans, includes making gender affirming surgery and hormone therapy a right that the government will pay for. Additionally, the country will reserve 1 percent of government jobs for this community.

As a way to make amends for the government’s past abuse of transgender people – particularly during the military dictatorship between 1973 and 1985 – it is also setting up a monthly pension for those born before 1975. The law is one of the most progressive for the trans community in the world.

“[P]olice and the state detained and tortured trans people during the dictatorship of the 1970s and 80s and these tactics continued into the democratic era,” Tania Ramirez, an employee of Uruguay’s Ministry of Social Development, told Marketplace.

And while in the United States, the Trump Administration is attempting to define gender through a narrow confine – that is, saying that birth is determined by genitalia at birth – Uruguay is allowing people to change their gender and update their legal name, without needing approval from a judge, according to Gay Star News. While Uruguay already let people change their name and legal gender on documents before this law, the Ley Integral de Persona Trans allows people under 18 to do so. Before this, youths had to ask for their parents’ permission, and if they failed, they had to go through the court system, Into More reports.

Sixty two of 88 senators voted in favor of the law, and people broke out in cheers and applause. It had already passed in Uruguay’s Chamber of Representatives.