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Brazil : Nonbinary Person Authorized to Change Birth Certificate to Indicate ”Unspecified” Sex

(Sept. 30, 2020) In August 2020, at the request of the Public Defender’s Office, the justice of the Brazilian State of Rio de Janeiro issued an unprecedented decision that authorizes a nonbinary person, meaning someone who does not identify as female or male, or identifies with both genders, to amend their birth certificate to have their sex recorded as “unspecified,” according to the newspaper O Globo.

Letícia Furtado, the public defender who made the request, was quoted as saying “I am not aware of a decision like this in the country that will serve as a precedent for other people to appeal to the judiciary to have the same right recognized.”

In the ruling, Judge Antonio da Rocha Lourenço Neto reportedly stated that “the law cannot allow the human dignity of a non-gender person (person without gender) to be violated whenever that person displays documents that do not match his physical and psychic reality.” The state prosecutor’s office agreed with the request, the news report said, meaning there will be no appeal.