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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 23 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 34
Germany introduces genderless birth certificates
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Germany introduces genderless birth certificates

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Germany will become the first country in the European Union to offer a genderless option for birth certificates when new regulations come into effect in November.

Under the new system, German parents will have the option of choosing 'male,' 'female,' or 'blank' for their child's gender.

'The legislative change allows parents to opt out of determining their baby's gender, thereby allowing those born with characteristics of both sexes to choose whether to become male or female in later life,' Spiegel Online reports.

'Under the new law, individuals can also opt to remain outside the gender binary altogether.'

German passports and other government documents will still ask people to choose between 'male' and 'female' genders, however.

Germany isn't the only country in the world to make such a change. A new Australian law provides 'the option to select M (male), F (female), or X (Indeterminate/Intersex/Unspecified)' and applies to all official documents.

ANTI-TRANS BIAS 'RAMPANT'
With the possible exception of Finland, which has made some administrative efforts towards gender recognition, but as yet has passed no legislation, the European Union is behind on the issue, claims Silvan Agius, policy director at the European chapter of ILGA (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association).

A 2012 report co-authored by Agius found that discrimination against Transgender and Intersex people was still 'rampant in all E.U. countries.'

Agius expressed the hope that Germany's actions will influence other nations which has been slow to make deal with gender discrimination following a 2010 report on Trans and Intersex minorities.

'Germany's move will put more pressure on Brussels,' Agius said. 'That can only be a good thing.'

In addition to being the capital of Belgium, Brussels is the headquarters of the European Union.

ILGA-Europe and TGEU (Transgender Europe) are co-hosting two upcoming conferences on gender identity issues: 'From Stumbling Block to Stepping Stone - Transforming Legal Gender Recognition,' September 29 through October 1; and 'Roundtable on Legal Gender Recognition of Trans People,' October 1 and 2.

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