Robin Van Lonkhuijsen / AFP / Getty Images
A 69-year-old Dutchman who lost a lawsuit over his claim to lower his official age by 20 years said he wanted to appeal.
Emile Ratelband says he feels younger than his real age and, as before, NPR, he reports, keeps his life up and his performance in dating apps would improve if he was 49 years old. He said he was ready to postpone the pension.
A district court in Arnhem in the east of the country was not convinced.
"[U] Similar to a change of the registered name or gender, there are various age-related rights and obligations, such as the right to vote and compulsory education," wrote the court in a statement. "If Mr Ratelband's application were allowed, those age requirements would be meaningless."
There was no evidence that Ratelband had experienced age discrimination, the court said. He rejected his argument on the basis of free will and wrote: "Free will is not enough to make any desired outcome legally possible."
"Mr. Ratelband may feel 20 years younger than his real age and act accordingly," the court continued. "But changing his date of birth would eliminate 20 years of records from births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships, which would have a number of undesirable legal and social implications."
Ratelband was not discouraged by the decision. "The judge's reaction is fantastic, great," he said.
"Do you know why because we have a strategy," he added, referring to his plan to address the specific reasons of the judge who had raised the age change rejection on appeal.
Ratelband expects his appointment to be heard in the coming months.
Ratelband denies having made his case to criticize or discredit transgender, even though he has repeatedly compared his quixotic crusade to their struggle for recognition of their gender identity.
In the Netherlands, Ratelband's actions and international prominence he received were met with ridicule and confusion.
"The Netherlands laugh about the crazy Emile, who is now giving interviews around the world," wrote Algemeen Dagblad (19459031).
Ratelband's claim that he is younger than his true age was called "absurd."