Female, male, diverse – German law provides for three possible genders. So far, anyone who wants to change their approach has had to overcome relatively high obstacles. That should change now.
Berlin (dpa) – In the future, everyone in Germany should be able to determine their own gender and name and change them in a simple procedure at the registry office. This is a concept presented in Berlin by the federal ministries of justice and the family for a new self-determination law, presented by federal justice minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) and family minister Lisa Paus (Greens) in Berlin.
It is intended to replace the law on transsexuality, which many people now consider obsolete and discriminatory. If the new regulations are implemented as planned, it will no longer matter whether a person is transgender, non-binary or international when it comes to entering gender and name. Reports of sexual identity or medical belief should then no longer be required as a prerequisite for such a change.
Interpersonal people are people whose physical gender does not correspond to the medical norm of the male or female body, but is somewhere in between. Non-binary refers to people who have neither a male nor a female gender identity. Trans people do not feel as if they belong to the genus ascribed to them by birth.
Special rules for minors
For minors under the age of 14, legal guardians must submit a statement of change in the registry office. Young people aged 14 should submit a statement on their own, but with the consent of their parents. The founding document formulated by the two ministries regarding possible disputes for a group of 14-year-olds states the following: In order to protect the personal rights of young people, the family court may, in cases where guardians disagree, and in other constellations in family law – they replace the decision of the parents at the request of the minor.
The president of the German Children’s Fund, Thomas Krger, welcomed the planned change. He said it should be indisputable that unnecessary referrals and medically unnecessary interventions could be left out. The Lesbian and Gay Association was also generally positive about key issues. Federal board member Alfonso Pantisano told the Funke media group newspaper, however, that he was surprised that legal guardians had to agree with the youth or, in case of doubt, with the family court. This is not the case with the choice of religion or profession. Then why would it be like that with sex?
One-year blockade period
In order to ensure that a serious decision is behind the change of civil status, a blockade period of one year is envisaged. This means that the new gender registration and name are generally valid for at least one year.
Buschmann and Paus have explicitly stated that their planned law will not contain any provisions on the issue of any measures of physical gender reassignment. Such measures would continue to be decided on the basis of specialist medical regulations. The planned change in the law should also not affect the decision on who will compete as a woman or a man in sports competitions. It was decided by the sports federations, Paus said.
The Transsexual Act dates back to 1980
The transsexual law dates back to 1980 and is humiliating for those affected, she explained. Asked what happened to women who might feel insecure in the sauna or locker room when playing sports when people who used to be men enter these rooms, the minister replied: Trans women are women and therefore I see that there is no need for further discussion. In the future, shelters for women will take care that violent people – regardless of gender – do not have access there.
Trans persons and non-binary persons can currently change their gender and name only by court order. In this process, it is necessary to obtain two expert opinions. People with gender development variants can make changes by registering at the registry office. However, either a medical certificate or an affidavit is required.
Bushman: Protection from Forced Exit
Buschmann said: The current law treats the people in question as sick people. There is no excuse for this. According to the wishes of Paus and Buschmann, the Government should decide on the draft law on self-determination by the end of the year.
Many people who change gender records speak openly about it. Those who do not want it will be protected from eviction, Buschmann said. According to Buschmann, if an official discloses this personal information, a fine will be imposed. Compensation payments are also planned for transgender and intersex people who have suffered bodily injury or forced divorce as a result of previous legislation.
opposition bt criticism
The procedure for changing gender input and names must be as gentle and non-discriminatory as possible, said Andrea Lindholz (CSU), deputy chairwoman of the Union faction. But the federal government with its radical proposal goes far beyond this goal. The envisaged possibility of an annual change of gender and name without any preconditions is absurd. Sports clubs and fitness studios, for example, could not simply prevent people who had previously been registered as men from using women’s locker rooms. The protection of minors is also neglected, Lindholz complained.
The key points presented for the law on self-determination are undoubtedly a social turning point, praised the parliamentary secretary of the leftist faction, Jan Korte. What is missing is the expansion of the offer of help and care for the affected and their environment, as well as a broad information campaign to reduce social fears.
The AfD essentially opposed the proposed law. Deputy Federal President Stephan Brandner said: Biology cannot simply be ignored by laws and is not a matter for the majority.
dpa-infocom, dpa: 220630-99-858950 / 4