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Lithuania has introduced new legislation that allows transgender people to change their legal name without proof of surgery.

The country’s justice minister Evelina Dobrovolska signed the inclusive bill into law on Friday (31 December).

Under this new rule, transgender individuals will no longer have to provide medical proof of gender-affirming procedures. The order will officially go into effect on 2 February 2022.

Even though this is a huge step for LGBTQ+ rights, there is a catch with the legislation.

According to a report from Delfi.en, trans citizens will still need to provide a certificate that “diagnoses” their “transgenderism” from a health care provider.

This requirement is for any individual that is looking to obtain a name change on legal documents.

In a statement, the ministry called the initiative an “important step that will help Lithuania to ensure partial implementation of the ruling the European Court of Human Rights issued more than a decade ago, as well as the consolidation of human rights standards.”

Lithuania joins the growing list of European countries that are introducing more LGBTQ+ inclusive laws.

At the end of December, Switzerland introduced a law that allows trans individuals to change their gender by self-ID.

The new legislation went into effect on 1 January and allows individuals to change their gender without undergoing hormone therapy or medical diagnosis.

Before the new policy, individuals were required to supply a gender-affirming certificate from medical professionals.

A report from Reuters also revealed that additional requirements were seen across different regions within the country.

This ranged from proof of name use, undergoing hormone therapy and anatomical transition.

Under the new rules, individuals must be 16 years or older and not under legal guardianship. Anyone under that age requirement will need permission from a parent or guardian.

The administration fee will reportedly see a decrease in price – from 1.000 CHF to 75 CHF.

Other countries like Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Germany and Portugal have also introduced similar bills.

Back in June 2021, Spain approved a draft bill that allows anyone 14 or above to legally change their gender without permission from a guardian.

Three years ago, Germany became the first European country to introduce a third gender option within its registry system.

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