Ecuadorian Judge Cites Biblical Scriptures in Ruling Against Transsexual Man Seeking to Change Gender Preference

An Ecuadorian man who identifies himself as a woman named Diane Rodriguez plans to initiate legal action against a judge who quoted Biblical scriptures as the basis for his decision to not allow Rodriguez to change his gender preference on his government issued identification card.

Rodriguez's attorney, Monica Valarezo, said the ruling was not valid since the judge made his decision based on Genesis 1:27, which speaks about God creating man and woman in His own image. Valarezo also said that her client was going to appeal the ruling and file a complaint against the director of the civil registry in the city of Guayas, Ecuador, and the chief judge of the town's civil court. 

"The judge quoted several verses from the Bible and any lawyer can attest [the Bible] has absolutely nothing to do with legal matters because it's part of each person's subjectivity," said Valarezo, reports "Beliefs, dogmas and that sort of thing do not come into legal matters."

Valarezo also added that the constitution of Ecuador recognizes and guarantees "the right to free development of personality without limitations."

Known as one of the most active lobbyists for LBGT rights in Ecuador, Rodriguez legally changed his name in 2009 and at the time he said he was undergoing the gender identification change not only for himself but for "others who will come after me."

Standing behind Rodriguez in his attempt to appeal the judge's decision is Giovanny Jaramillo, a representative with the Ecuadorian Human Rights Committee, who said he would take action in favor of Rodriguez to raise awareness of his case by notifying the country's national assembly, the national court of justice and the Vice President.

"It's impossible that they won't allow him to change his sex on his identification card even though he changed his name," said Jaramillo. "Especially since in 2009, there was a case of a man who legally changed his sex identification with the civil registry."

According to the Global Post, Rodriguez came out as a teenager and made a living as prostitute after his parents kicked him out of their home. He then secretly underwent hormone therapy and began to face discrimination once his physical appearance began to change.   

Earlier this year, Rodriguez made international headlines as the first transsexual to seek a legislative seat in Ecuador, a socially conservative nation where 85 percent of the population identifies as Catholic. If he would have filled the vacant congressional seat, Rodriguez's focus would have been on minorities, vulnerable ethnic groups and feminist causes. In addition, he had planned to push the same-sex marriage agenda, which President Rafael Correa has been against and outspoken about. 

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