A court in Lebanon has ruled that a transgender man can legally change his gender to male in the nation's civil registry, his attorney said on Friday.
In the ruling, the Court of Appeals of Beirut weighed the man's health and well-being as factors in allowing the change in official records to take place.
He suffered from a gender identity disorder and the "operation was a medical necessity to relieve him from his suffering that had been present throughout his life," the court said in its ruling, according to a Beirut newspaper, The Daily Star.
His attorney Elie Khattar confirmed the ruling by telephone from Lebanon.
The appeals court issued the ruling in September but its decision was only recently publicized, local media and activists said.
The case reached the appeals court after the transgender man was denied a request to change his gender in the civil registry by a lower court.
The appeal's court ruling said a person's right "to receive the necessary treatment for any physical and psychological illness is a fundamental and natural one."
The decision will help support the rights of transgender people in Lebanon, Youmna Makhlouf of Legal Agenda, a local non-profit advocacy group, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"Here what is important in the decision is that it was stated as a matter of fundamental rights. It was not stated as a matter of humanitarian policy or for clemency purposes," she said from Beirut.