Argentina Rolls Out Most Liberal Transgender Law
Approval of judges, doctor no longer needed for change
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2012 3:01 AM CDT
Updated Jun 5, 2012 5:45 AM CDT
Transsexual Silvana Daniela Sosa holds a form after beginning the process to change gender yesterday.   (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
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(Newser) – Argentina introduced the world's most liberal law on transgender rights yesterday, giving people the freedom to change their gender legally and physically without the approval of a judge or doctor. The law—which passed the country's Senate last month 55-0 despite firm opposition from the Catholic Church—has removed all the hurdles blocking the country's estimated 22,000-strong transgender community from changing gender, and is the first in the world allowing people to change their legal gender without changing their bodies, reports the AP.

"This law is saying that we're not going to require you to live as a man or a woman, or to change your anatomy in some way. They're saying that what you say you are is what you are," notes a Stanford University bioethicist. "And that's extraordinary." The law also requires public and private medical practitioners to provide free hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery to those who desire it, notes the New York Times.