Multiple choice: Germany, like U.S., must now recognize third gender on birth certificates

by WorldTribune Staff, November 10, 2017

Germany’s constitutional court has ruled the government must allow for a third gender on German birth certificates.

The court in Karlsruhe ruled that the government has until the end of 2018 to pass a law specifying a category other than male or female.

The poster reads: ‘Third Option – In favor of a third option in gender registration’.

The category could be called “inter” or “various”.

The case was brought by a registered female whose chromosome test confirmed neither gender, the BBC reported. The case said current regulations on civil status were discriminatory against intersex people.

Intersex people are born with a mixture of male and female sex characteristics. The UN says the condition affects up to 1.7 percent of the world’s population.

A German government spokesperson said the government would comply with the ruling.

The law would make Germany the first European country to allow parents to designate their offspring as a third gender.

Intersex persons are currently recognized on official documents in Australia, India, New Zealand, Nepal and the United States. The first intersex birth certificate was issued in the U.S. last year.

In January Belgian model Hanne Gaby Odiele revealed that she was intersex, saying she hoped that it would “break the taboo.”

France’s top appeals court ruled in May against offering a “neutral” gender designation to a 66-year-old psychotherapist born with neither a penis nor vagina and officially registered as a man.

The French court said the distinction between male and female was a “cornerstone” of social and legal organization, and recognizing a third gender would involve “numerous legislative changes,” the New York Times reported.

According to the BBC’s report, in Denmark, Malta, Ireland and Norway adult citizens can self-determine their gender in law without medical examination. In some cases, they can apply retrospectively to have the gender on their birth certificate changed.


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