Colombia’s highest court recognises non-binary people in landmark ruling

Colombia’s highest court has ruled that non-binary people should have their gender legally recognised in a landmark ruling set to ripple through Latin America.

On Tuesday (1 March), the Constitutional Court of Colombia, the supreme constitutional court of Colombia in Bogotá, ruled that the government must introduce a third gender marker option on official identity documents.

In a decision obtained by AFP, the government must make it possible for “non-binary people… to opt for this category, with the same guarantees of those who identify officially as binary”.

Central to the case was Dani Garcia, a 40-year-old person assigned male at birth who transitioned two decades ago. In 2019, Garcia asked for the national registry to issue them a new identity document with their gender marker listed as “indeterminate”.

The National Civil Agency, a government agency that issues documents and stores citizen statistics, refused Garcia’s request. But Garcia took their request for legal recognition to the courts, with the top appellate court siding with Garcia.

The introduction of a third gender marker for documents is, the court said, an “initial step towards effective social participation” for countless trans, non-binary and gender-nonconforming Colombians.

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