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Germany must allow third gender in registry of births, court rules

Germany must allow third gender in registry of births, court rules

The German court ordered to enter a third gender into the registry of births by the end of 2018. The case of an intersex person has won a court case to allow them was appealed to the Federal Constitutional Court after failing at lower levels, Deutsche Welle reported.

Germany’s top court on Wednesday required Bundestag to legally recognise a “third gender” from birth, potentially making it the first EU country to offer intersex people the option of identifying as neither male nor female. According to the biology, an intersex is a broad term encompassing people who have sex traits, such as genitals or chromosomes, that don’t entirely fit with a typical binary notion of male and female.

Current regulations on civil status are discriminatory against intersex people, the Federal Constitutional Court said.

Legislators must by the end of 2018 pass a new regulation to offer a third gender option in birth registers, added the court, ruling in favour of an appeal brought by an intersex person.

“Assignment to a gender is of paramount importance for individual identity; it typically plays a key role both in the self-image of a person and in the way in which the person concerned is perceived by others. The gender identity of those persons who are neither male nor female is protected,”

the FCC ruled.

Third gender is a new reality for Germany

Germany is a progressive state when it is about the freedoms of its citizens, since 2013, Germans are free to leave the gender entry blank on the birth registry.

The case about third gender was one of the most extraordinary ones in the German judicial system. For lawyers, it was rather hard to make a verdict, several lower courts had ruled against a bid for gender change to “inter” or “various” in the birth register. Finally, the plaintiff won, it (neither she nor he) was registered as female but a chromosome analysis found it to be neither male nor female.

Persons who identify as intersex are already a common thing for the judicial system in Australia, India, New Zealand and Nepal. Germany soon will join this small cohort and, probably, will start the work under new law about the marriage between the intersex people.