EU Calls for End to Classifying Trans People As Mentally Ill


The European Parliament this week voted to pass a resolution calling on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to stop classifying transgender people as mentally ill.

The text of the resolution, passed Wednesday, reads:

“The European Parliament calls on the Commission and the World Health Organization to withdraw gender identity disorders from the list of mental and behavioral disorders, and ensure a non-pathologizing reclassification in the negotiations on the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases.”

WHO currently classifies gender identity disorders, usually earmarked as gender disphoria as a preferred term, as a “mental and behavioral disorder” per the WHO International Classification of Disease (ICD). WHO is currently revising its ICD with the next edition due to be published 2015.

A statement from Dutch MEP Emine Bozkurt who authored the amendment comes via Pink News:

“Transgender identities are still considered a mental disorder by the World Health Organisation. This must be changed urgently, and certainly by the time the next version comes into effect in 2015.

“Transgender people wishing to live in a body that matches their identity are of course entitled to medical treatment and its benefits, but the negative stigma surrounding them must stop.”

Similarly, MEP Raül Romeva i Rueda adds that classifying transgender people as mentally ill “means they are not free to decide for themselves, and are often disrespected by the medical profession, their employers and their families.”

Until 1990 the ICD classed homosexuality as a mental illness.

The European Parliament also voted this week on a resolution to end homophobia and transphobia in member states, joining the United Nations’ call for safeguarding the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people around the world. A total of 586 MEPs voted, with 442 in favor of the resolution and only 104 against with 40 abstentions, an encouraging margin and somewhat wider than expected margin. The text of this resolution mandates that all European External Action Service and EU Member States increase their work in fighting for the human rights of LGBT people worldwide. You can read more on the resolution here.

Related Reading:

The Sisyphean Task of Belgrade’s Gay Pride March

Netherlands Trans Law Violates Human Rights

Commissioner: EU Leaders Must Act On Anti-LGBT Discrimination

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Roch Cohen.


Kieran B.
kieran Beeston6 years ago

now i know why you put gee Jennifer, kynthia, what a lack of education with trans people comment of hers, to say its a choice. the comment to care for all creatures on her profile, seemingly not some of her fellow human beings Jennifer J, not on the block but with one lol "To help save Mother Earth and her creatures, big and small." yer and im the tooth fairy at the week ends

Kynthia R.
Kynthia Rosgeal6 years ago

Gee Jennifer, too bad you have NO clue what your talking about. it is Not a choice, it is a situation where the wrong brain is in the wrong body.

And, for a "choice" Trans persons have a 50% suicide rate. Thats not serious at all to you ? I guess you would have found Bubonic Plague laughable.

pam w.
pam w7 years ago

ANOTHER good step forward! Once again, fundamentalist religious people are holding the rest of us back! This WILL pass---same-sex marriage and gender transition WILL happen! Anyone who thinks they're being harmed by this needs to take a good, long look at themselves!

Emma S.
Emma S7 years ago

'Until 1990 the ICD classed homosexuality as a mental illness.' Astonishing.

Caitlin Fowler
Caitlin F7 years ago

I agree with Jenifer there are far worse health issues that should be given the attention than this.

Colleen L.
Colleen L7 years ago

I agree with Antonia. We are suppose to be in a world where people have rights. I'm sick and tired of reading how we are being watched by the so-called "Big Brother". We should be able to live, and associate with whomever we want. Glad to see that W.H.O. is finally coming to their senses. They were acting like metally ill people to even classify a transgender as that. Thanks Steve

Jennifer joe

W.H.O. the hell they think they are? Shouldnt they be dealiong w/ dire health situations going on in the world and theyre worried about classifing transgenders. Thats more of a CHOICE, not something thats tragic.

Victoria M.
Past Member 7 years ago

good. :)

Patrick F.
Patrick f7 years ago

Now if they would only classify the Ukraine and Russian governments as mentally ill, things might actually change.

Sylvia M.
Sylvia M7 years ago

I'm actuallu surprised to learn this is a current issue before the EU, as they always seem to be ahead of the curve on issues like this. But, good that they are addressing it now, having decided it serves no real purpose.