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Costa Rica’s Trans Population Wants Right to Choose Names

LADB Article ID: 80367
Category/Department: Costa Rica
Date: 2017-08-03
By: George Rodríguez

Costa Rica’s transgender population is demanding the right to have their choice of name legally recognized, starting with identity documents. A draft bill to that effect is making its way through the Asamblea Legislativa, the nation’s single-chamber parliament, but conservative legislators, including representatives of evangelical political parties, have announced their opposition to the proposed text. On June 7, the congressional Human Rights Committee green-lighted the text for its plenary debate and vote. It had the support of five of six of the members present. The initiative’s goal is to allow trans women and men to legally identify themselves on their national identity card with the name they choose, instead of their gender at birth and their given name, with the new name included only as conocido como or “known as.” Proponents of the measure argue that the “known as” name is seldom regarded as legal. As written, the new law would allow trans persons to change their name to one that suits their gender, but it does not eliminate any of the responsibilities and rights they had with their birth names.

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