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Transgender pair win legal appeal in Australian High Court

Two transgender people won an appeal in Australia's highest court yesterday giving them legal recognition as men despite not having had complete sex change surgery.

Transgender organisations said the High Court's ruling would spare others from having to undergo medically unnecessary surgery to have their chosen gender recognised. The court ruled that characteristics that identify a person as male or female are "confined to external physical characteristics that are socially recognisable [without knowledge of the person's sex organs]."

The unnamed pair had their breasts surgically removed and underwent male hormone therapy, but retain some female sex organs. The Western Australia Gender Reassignment Board had refused to certify them as male because they had not completed sex change surgery.