site.btaSupreme Court of Cassation: Court Cannot Allow Change in Civil Status Acts concerning Transsexual Person's Gender
In an interpretative decision adopted on Monday, the General Assembly of the Supreme Court of Cassation’s Civil Chamber ruled that Bulgarian law does not give the court the option to grant a change in civil status records data on the gender, name and personal identification number of a petitioner claiming to be transsexual. The Constitution and all Bulgarian substantive law treat the term 'gender' solely in its biological sense, as interpreted by a Constitutional Court decision of 2021.
An analysis of EU law does not lead to a different interpretation of the question raised, the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) argues, quoting the practice of the Court of Justice of the European Union where the legal regulation of a person’s civil status and marriage is left within the Member States’ autonomy.
Changing the data in the civil status acts of a petitioner claiming to be transsexual would impact on the civil status of other individuals, including underage persons placed under special protection (the petitioner’s children) as well as the marriage partner, reads the SCC’s reasoning. Changing the gender-related data of one parent would result in determining the child’s origin not based on persons of a different gender (mother and father) but on persons of one and the same gender by birth, which Bulgarian law does not allow. Changing the gender-related data of one spouse would result in determining the marriage as concluded between persons of one and the same gender, and Bulgarian law does not recognise same-sex marriage.
The SCC sees a gender-related change in a person’s civil status as contrary to the public interest, given the change’s legal consequences for the other legal subjects and the way it would be interpreted in society amid the lack of public consensus and legislative regulation on the matter.