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  • Bolivian transgenders can now change their legal names

    Bolivian transgenders can now change their legal names | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 August 2016
Opinion

LGBT rights activists in Bolivia see the new law as a groundbreaking sign of growing tolerance in Latin America.

Bolivia approved this week a law that allows transgender people to change their name, sex and gender on birth certificates and other official records.

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Forty people began the process to change their personal information on identity documents and bank accounts, and alter their professional titles, on the same day the law passed.

"For us it’s a matter of great importance, because it is justice for a population that for centuries has lived excluded. It's such a basic right as a citizen’s right to identity," David Aruquipa, an LGBT rights activist, said on Monday.

According to activist Tamara Nuñez, about 2,000 people will immediately apply to change their official records. "It's definitely a historic change," she said.

The process to modify one's official identity will take up to two weeks and requires that the person be at least 18 years old, pass a psychological test, prepare a letter of application, and provide an original birth certificate and criminal record.

The law, proposed in May, came into effect on Aug. 1.

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