Now Reading
Germany’s law recognizing a third gender comes into effect

Germany’s law recognizing a third gender comes into effect

A law in Germany which legally recognizes intersex and gender non-conforming people has come into effect.

Those who do not identify as either male or female can now register as ‘diverse’ on official documentation.

The law came into effect on Tuesday (1 January) after having been approved by Germany’s parliament in December.

However, those wishing to register as intersex require a certificate of approval from a doctor.

As such, critics claim that the law does not do enough to recognize the rights of intersex or gender non-conforming people.

0.5% to 1.7% of the world’s population

From 2013, Germany allowed people who do not identify as either male or female to opt-out of registering their gender.

However, in 2017 the country’s top court ruled that not recognizing intersex people constituted denying basic rights to a gender.

The UN estimates that between 0.5% to 1.7% of the global population are born with intersex traits.

Other countries have passed similar laws.

In June, Austria’s constitutional court passed a law which recognizes the rights of intersex people.

Australia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, New Zealand, and Canada have also introduced measures to improve the rights of the intersex community.

Still facing criticism

Many progressive politicians and LGBTI rights supporters in Germany have welcomed the move.

But some equal rights activists have said the law does not go far enough with regards to recognizing the rights of the intersex community.

Those wishing to register as intersex must first undergo a medical examination and receive approval from a doctor.

Equal rights activists have said that this procedure is intrusive and in fundamental contrast with the basic rights of intersex people.

Trans rights groups have also criticized the law, which they say could make it harder for trans people to update their official documents.