Third gender to be introduced in German registry of births

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ruled that lawmakers must create new legislation by the end of 2018.

Evangelical Focus

Deutsche Welle · KARLSRUHE · 08 NOVEMBER 2017 · 16:29 CET

Photo: F. MkKenna (Unsplash, CC),
Photo: F. MkKenna (Unsplash, CC)

Germany is about to become the first European country to allow a third gender on the birth registration.

“Intersex”, “diverse” or other “positive designation of sex” will now be an option in addition to “male” and “female”, the country’s Federal Court ruled.

In a seven to one vote, the court decided that the general right to the protection of personality in Germany's Basic Law meant the register had to be altered to allow a third gender, Deutsche Welle reported.



Since 2013, it is already possible to leave the gender entry in blank, but LGBT groups had asked for more.

Advocacy group “Third Option” said the decision is some kind of a “small revolution”. “We are overwhelmed and speechless”, they said. The Association of Intersexual People said “further steps in the same direction”.

The legal case was started by an intersexual person, who had failed at several other levels of the justice system.



This time, the Federal Constitutional Court’s decision received the backing of the German Institute for Human Rights, the German Society for Sexual Research and the German Society for Psychology.

The German Minister of Family Affairs Katarina Barley welcomed the decision. The Federal Anti-Discrimination Office praised the decision of the court as "historical" and called for a comprehensive reform of the civil registry law. 

The Association of German Registrars and Christians groups expressed their opposition to introducing new gender categories, as it has already happened in countries like Australia and New Zealand.

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