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transsexuals win court ruling

From le Monde, 13-14 December:  

The superior court [cour de cassation], in full assembly on Friday December
11, recognized the right of transsexuals to change their civil status.  This
judgement marks a reversal for the high court [juridication supreme], which
has refused since 1975 to grant this possibility to 13 people who wanted to
change their sex.

Two transsexuals, Rene, 35, and Marc, 24, appealed to the superior court
against two judgements of the court of appeals [cour d'appel] of Aix-en-
Provence, which denied them the right to have the entries concerning their
sex changed on their birth certificates, on the grounds that people's
status is not at their own disposition (no one can modify the status which is
theirs by virtue of law or nature).  The superior court found in their favor
by specifying:  "When, following surgical treatment undergone for therapeutic
purposes, a person displaying the syndrome of transsexualism no longer
possesses all of the characteristics of his or her original sex, and has taken 
on a physical appearance approaching that of the other sex, the principle of
due respect of privacy justifies the civil status indicating the sex
which the person appears to be."  This decision follows a judgement by the
European court of human rights on March 25, which ordered France to pay
an indemnity of 100,000 F [about $20,000] to Mr. Norbert B..., to whom
it had denied a change of civil status since 1979.

After years of legal battle, France thus aligns itself with other
European countries such as Sweden, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands,
Denmark, Turkey [!], Finland and Spain.  But the importance of the
judgement of the superior court is above all in the implied consequences.
In theory, nothing further prevents the marriage of transsexuals or
the possibility of their undertaking adoption procedures.

[end of article]

I hope I've given reasonable translations of the French legal terms.

I was surprised to find this matter still under question.
Anybody know what US law says about it?
Mike Pettersen, Ecole Normale Superieure
Perfect love casteth out fear.