Germany Will Allow Third Gender Option On Birth Certificates

The new law makes Germany the first European nation to recognize an undetermined sex on its birth documents.

1. This November, a new law in Germany will place a third gender option on all birth certificates.

2. This change will make Germany the first European nation to recognize an undetermined sex on its birth certificates.

Australia has allowed citizens to mark their gender on passports as “X” since 2011. New Zealand passed similiar legislation last year.

3. The new legislation will give parents the option to select “blank” instead of male or female.

The legislation will apply to intersex individuals rather than those identifying as transgender. The “blank” option allows the individual to choose what they would like to identify as later on in life.

4. The court decision states that if a person “deepy feels” that they belong to a certain gender, they have the right to identify themselves legally.

5. Spiegal Online reports:

It remains unclear, however, how the change will affect gender assignment in other personal documents, such as passports, which still require people to choose between two categories — “F” for female and “M” for male. German family law publication FamRZ has called for the introduction of a third category, designated by the letter “X”

6. It is possible that Germany’s actions will put pressure on other European nations to follow suit.

As Silvan Agius, policy director at human rights organization ILGA Europe, puts it, “Things are moving slower than they should at the European level. Though Brussels has ramped up efforts to promote awareness of trans and intersex discrimination, I would like to see things speed up.” Brussels commissioned a report on trans and intersex minorities back in 2010, but further progress has been slow moving.

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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