JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Interior Ministry will allow citizens to change the gender designation on their national identity cards without having a sex-change operation.
The decision comes after Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the ministry to change the gender designation from male to female on the identity cards of two citizens, Haaretz reported. They had been allowed to change their names prior to the court’s intervention.
The Interior Ministry agreed to change its procedure last week after meeting with officials from the Health and Justice ministries, during which the Health Ministry officials informed the participants that other countries have recognized criteria for determining that a person has changed his or her gender outside of surgery, according to Haaretz.
Many countries and U.S. states allow a doctor or social worker to affirm that a person identifies as the opposite gender.
Under the new procedure, the existing Health Ministry committee that approves sex-change operations will set criteria for determining a gender change without surgery and certify applicants who wish to register an official change in his or her gender.