News from Europe

German Cabinet approves third gender identity

Germany’s Cabinet has approved a third gender option for official identification records, following a Supreme Court ruling. The option will be available by the end of the year.

The German Cabinet on Wednesday approved a draft bill that would add a third gender option to official identity records.

The bill allows intersexual people to register their gender as “divers,” which translates roughly to “miscellaneous” or “other,” and would come into force by the end of the year. Until now, people in a similar situation could only register without a gender.

The draft law follows a Constitutional Court ruling last year that found the current system violated a person’s individual rights and anti-discriminatory laws.

 The court had ruled on a case in which a plaintiff with one X chromosome but no second sex chromosome had tried unsuccessfully to change their gender at a birth register from “female” to third category. Females have two X chromosomes, while males have one X and one Y chromosome.

The judges found that authorities must choose to either scrap gender identification altogether or allow people in a similar situation to choose “another positive designation of their sex that is not male or female.”


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