Transsexuality

As to the question concerning marriage following a sex-change operation, the Universal House of Justice indicates that, “If a Bahá’í has had surgery and a change of sex has been registered officially on the birth certificate or otherwise, marriage is permissible to a person of the sex opposite to that which is officially registered”.

Universal House of Justice, Transsexuality, 26 Dec, 2002

As to whether a Bahá’í who is a transsexual could undergo sex-change surgery and maintain his or her administrative rights, the Universal House of Justice has clarified that, “If ... [the] medical opinion advises a change of sex, and the individual concerned decides to accept the advice given, no administrative sanction should be imposed by Bahá’í institutions on that individual”.

Universal House of Justice, Transsexuality, 26 Dec, 2002

As to whether the Bahá’í institutions would offer support for the family of a believer who chose to have a sex-change operation, the Research Department has not, to date, located any specific references to this subject in the literature of the Faith. It is suggested, however, that this would appear to be a matter that the particular Assembly would decide, perhaps in consultation with the National Spiritual Assembly.

Universal House of Justice, Transsexuality, 26 Dec, 2002

In relation to an individual’s consultations with an Assembly concerning a sex-change operation, the House of Justice has instructed that it is not within the province of a Spiritual Assembly to advise a believer “whether or not to undergo a sex-change procedure”. The Assembly, however, may well wish to consult with the believer in the event that his or her conduct “conspicuously disgraces the Faith and brings serious injury to its reputation”.

Universal House of Justice, Transsexuality, 26 Dec, 2002

Mr. ... enquires whether a Bahá’í is required to consult with the institutions of the Faith before undergoing a sex-change operation, and whether the institutions would offer support to the family of the individual concerned. As to whether Spiritual Assemblies have a counselling role with individuals prior to their opting for a sex-change operation, while believers are always free to seek the assistance of the Assembly when confronted with a personal problem, they are, in general, not required to do so “unless concern for the reputation and good name of the Faith requires such institutional involvement”.

Universal House of Justice, Transsexuality, 26 Dec, 2002

Mr. ... is doubtless aware that the issue of transsexuality and the question of determining the circumstances under which sex-change operations should be undertaken are very complex. There is a wide range of gender identity disorders of which transsexuality is one of the most extreme. In addition, international standards of care have been established for gender identity disorders. These include psychotherapy, hormone treatment and surgical therapy, which are frequently offered sequentially to the individual concerned. The specific treatment regimen, necessarily, depends on the diagnosis and decision of the medical experts involved.

Universal House of Justice, Transsexuality, 26 Dec, 2002