Germany’s parliament votes in law recognising people as third gender


Germany's parliament votes in law recognising people as third gender

Intersex Awareness Day at the ILGA-Europe conference, 2018 | Photo: Wikipedia

Germany’s parliament has approved an option which allows people to be officially identified as a third-gender.

People can now register as ‘divers’ – which translates to miscellaneous in English – on official documents and birth certificates.

Prior to this, the only option for those who do not identify as male or female was to leave the gender option blank.

However, LGBTI some campaigners say the move does not go far enough for equal rights.

The third gender option become official

Germany’s coalition government voted to introduce the third-category option in August.

On Friday (14 December), both chambers of parliament approved the new law.

This comes after the country’s top court ruled that people should be allowed to register as neither male nor female last year.

The ruling order the German authorities to either create a third gender identity for official documents or scrap gender identities altogether.

Figures by the United Nations show that between 0.5% and 1.7% of the global population are intersex.

Not all are happy with the bill

While many praised the move, some politicians and campaigners have said that it does not do enough, as registering under a third gender still require a doctor’s certificate.

LGBTI rights group The Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) said that requiring medical examination effectively classifies intersex or gender non-conforming people as abnormal, and that ‘degrading assessments […] must be abolished’.

Intersex groups have said that this could lead to further pathologizing of intersex people.

Trans rights groups have also hit back at the bill, saying that it still does not make it any easier for trans people to update their official documents.

‘For trans people, nothing has changed regarding the obstacles they face to change their registered name and gender,’ Markus Ulrich, a spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany, said in August.

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