Portugal can still be legislative innovators on LGBTI equality – don’t stop now!
Update on the veto issued on 9 May by President of portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has chosen to veto the ground-breaking law passed by parliament on 13 April, proposing self-determination for trans people and banning unnecessary surgeries on intersex people. The announcement, issued late on Wednesday night (9 May 2018) is frustrating but not fatal.
The veto appears to centre on the legal gender recognition process for minors in Portugal, with the president suggesting that minors should have to obtain a medical opinion in order to change their gender marker.
ILGA-Europe, Transgender Europe-TGEU and OII Europe echo the call of the trans community in Portugal by reminding the President that equality for a few is not true equality. Young people must be able to access a legal gender recognition procedure that is fair and trusts them to know who they are.
The law received the support of a parliamentary majority, after MPs heard directly from trans people, their parents and families, LGBTI activists and experts.
As our member organisation ILGA Portugal commented last night: “We believe that the Portuguese Parliament has the power to overcome this veto and… it is necessary to take this path to the full guarantee of Human Rights for all trans persons”.
- For up-to-date information on the legal and policy situation for LGBTI people in Europe, visit our Rainbow Europe Module.
- The President’s statement on the veto is available here.
- The Council of Europe’s PACE General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBTI people Piet De Bruyn recorded a video message in support of the proposed law earlier this year.
- ILGA-Europe, TGEU and OII Europe had written directly to President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on 27 April, urging him to sign the law.