It is about identification

It is about identification

Intersexuality: Politics must implement judgement of the Federal Constitutional Court © Jan Woitas (KNA)

The Bundestag discusses this Thursday the introduction of a "third gender" in the civil status register. People without a clear biological sex should be able to register "divers" there in the future. The most important questions and answers:

What changes?

Lawmakers had already amended the Personal Status Act in 2013 to address the fact that there are people who are not biologically clearly assigned to the male or female gender. However, it did not introduce a "third gender" in the birth register, such as hermaphrodite, hermaphrodite, transsexual or intersexual, but only the possibility of not providing information.

A draft law of the Federal Ministry of the Interior now provides that in the certification of the birth of a newborn child, in addition to the information "female" and "male" or the "registration of the civil status case without such an indication" can be selected in the future, the designation "diverse".

A later change of the assignment in the birth entry and – if desired – the choice of a new first name should be made possible by a declaration to the registry office.

Why now?

The Federal Constitutional Court had in a decision of 10. October 2017 required by lawmakers until 31. December to allow a "positive sex entry" for people with variants of sex development.

Why the term "diverse?

According to the draft law, the choice of the term is in line with the wishes of the persons concerned. Since the legislature is not required to register every arbitrary identity characteristic under personal status law, the designation should offer as many affected persons as possible the possibility of identification, the draft states.

To whom does the entry apply?

The bill is limited to people with variants of sex development. It adheres to the physical sex and not to a self-assessment. Accordingly, those affected must prove this by submitting a medical certificate; this does not have to contain a precise diagnosis, a medical certificate is sufficient. The bill is based on an international medical classification system.

Intersexuality can show up in chromosomes, hormones or anatomical sex characteristics. The manifestations are manifold. In the past, genital reassignment surgeries were mostly performed in early childhood, supplemented by long-term hormonal follow-up treatment. Intersexual people partly saw this as biological standardization and forced treatment. In the meantime the doctors are more reserved.

How many people are affected?

In its decision, the Federal Constitutional Court speaks of some 160.000 people with variants of gender development in Germany. The bill again ames that about one third will not identify with the gender recorded in the birth register and thus make a declaration of change. In the future, he expects to gain about 1.500 newborns with variants of gender development, and correspondingly an estimated 500 people who will apply for a change of gender and first name.

Minors affected by the law can apply from the age of 14. He himself had to make a corresponding declaration by the time he reached the age of 18. They need for it the agreement of the legal representative, thus as a rule of the parents. The legal representative can only override the decision if there are "reasons relevant to the welfare of the child".

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