Germany approves third gender 'intersex' option for official documents

Until now, the only alternative was to leave the male or female entry blank

Colin Drury@colin__drury
Saturday 15 December 2018 11:13
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Intersex people are born with both male and female sex characteristics which can either appear at birth or later in life
Intersex people are born with both male and female sex characteristics which can either appear at birth or later in life

Germany is to introduce a third gender option on official documents allowing people to be registered as “intersex”, after its parliament approved government plans.

The new category will be included on birth certificates, driving licences and other documents.

It will mean those who do not identify as either male or female will be able to record themselves as “divers” – which roughly translates as “miscellaneous” or “other”.

Until now, the only alternative option for those who considered themselves neither man or woman was to leave the gender entry blank.

Parliamentary approval follows the government introducing the proposals in August.

But LGBT+ campaigners have said the new measure does not go far enough. They want new laws to make it easier for people who do not identify with the gender they were born with to change it on official documents.

The introduction of the new category comes after the country’s Federal Constitutional Court called on the government last November to enact legislation to either introduce a third category or dispense with gender altogether in official documents.

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The ruling followed a court appeal brought by an intersex adult and said that courts and state authorities should no longer compel intersex people to choose between identifying as male or female.

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