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What’s in a name?

February 16th 2011

The opinion of the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission on the rewriting of university diplomas for transgender people following a name change

In the Netherlands the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission has given the opinion that the refusal to rename and reprint the diploma of a transgender graduate of a university after they had changed their name constitutes indirect discrimination on the grounds of gender.

The transgender graduate, who had undergone female to male gender transition following the issue of his degree certificate, requested that his awarding university provided him with a new certificate bearing his current first names.

The Commission decided that whilst the University’s decision did not constitute direct discrimination, in as much as there were no exceptions to the rule of issuing only one certificate to graduates, the University was indirectly discriminating against the petitioner on the grounds of gender. The effect of refusing to rewrite diplomas affected transsexuals in particular as, according to the commission, they are “unable to fully integrate the change of gender into their personal life or business life”.
Please click here to read the full opinion of the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission

Please click here to read the Equinet Opinion "Making Equality Legislation Work for Trans People"