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TSE approves the use of the candidates’ chosen name in the ballot-box

01.03.2018   12:55 

When answering a consultation made by senator Fátima Bezerra (PT-RN), the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), sitting en banc, decided that transgender candidates will be able to use their chosen name in the ballot-box beginning from this year’s election.

The assignee of the case is Justice Tarcisio Vieira, and he highlighted in his opinion: “it is mandatory to advance and adopt measures that denote respect to diversity, to pluralism, to subjectivity and to individuality as expressions of the supreme principle of human diginity.” He remembered that “one of the fundamental objectives of the Federal Republic of Brazil consists in promoting the good of all without prejudice of origin, race, sex, color, age, or any other form of discrimination”, according to Art. 3, subsection IV of the Federal Constitution.

The debated judicial issue revolved around the expression “each sex”, mentioned in Art. 10, paragraph 3, of the Elections Law (Law n. 9,504/97), acoording to which each party or coalition will fulfill a minimun of 30% and maximum of 70% of candidacies by each sex.

The expression, as remembered by the assignee, refers to the genre and not to the biological sex, in such a way that both transgender and transvestite men and women can be accounted in the respective quotes for male and female candidacies.  “Therefore, they must appear as such in the requests for electoral registration pursuant to Art. 91 of the Elections Law, since the verification of the genre for the purpose of candidacy registration should meet the requirements envisaged in Resolution 21,538 and other norms of the regency,” clarified the Justice when explaining that those that opt for the chosen name should go to an Electoral Registry until May 9th (final date for the Electoral Register) to declare themselves as transgender and tell which genre they identify themselves with, if its male or female.

According to the Justice, the law has left a gap by not contemplating the diversisty of genre with its singular and different social markers.  “Indeed, the construction of genre represents a socialcultural phenomenom that demands the multidisciplinary approach in order to confirm, to the guaranties of the constitutional values, a reality that is still embedded by prejudices and steriotypes that are usually of moral and religious character.”

TSE’s president, in turn, praised the assignee’s opinion and classified it as “an extremely progressive advancement for the Electoral Justice.” He remebered that this week the Supreme Federal Court has also judged a case about the transgender issue and decided that recognaissance of the chosen name deals with the protection of a person’s dignity and also their right to search for hapinees in being recognized in the way they feel themselves.

CM/ GA