May 23, 2024

Westside People

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Germany eases sex change rules

Germany eases sex change rules
  • Written by Jessica Parker
  • Berlin correspondent

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Adults in Germany will now be able to declare a change to male, female or diverse

The German Parliament passed a law that makes it easier for citizens and residents to legally change their gender.

They also impose heavy fines – in certain circumstances – for revealing someone's pre-registered name or gender without consent.

Previously, changing your registered sex required a doctor's certificate and family court approval.

Now people over the age of 18 can transition as male, female or diverse, a third gender option that already exists under German law.

Three months after requesting this change, applicants will then have to come to the registration office in person.

You can also request that no details regarding your gender be recorded at all.

Intentional and malicious disclosure of a person's previous name or legal gender may result in a fine of up to €10,000.

However, there are exceptions – for example, if it is a legal requirement due to court proceedings or police investigations.

First names must represent the new legal gender – so male entry requires a recognized first name while female entry requires a recognized female first name.

Children aged 14 to 18 will need the consent of their parents or legal guardians, while children under 14 will need their parents or legal guardians to make the declaration.

No further change or reversal can be made within 12 months of acceptance of the order.

Male-to-female or cross-species applications submitted less than two months before the National Defense Emergency will be suspended.

The new rules will come into force on November 1 after being pledged in a “traffic light” coalition agreement.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “We show respect for trans, intersex and non-binary people – without taking anything from others. This is how we continue to advance the modernization of our country. This includes recognizing the realities of life and making them possible through law.”

The Green Party's Nikki Slavik, who is transgender, said this was a “first step” towards a society that allows self-determination for transgender people.

Conservatives and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party were among those who spoke out against the plans and warned that the legislation could be abused.

Concerns have also been expressed about the impact on young people. “Minors can, without proper consultation, choose a path they may later regret,” said Marieke Wolf of the CDU.

The self-determination law was approved by 374 votes in favor, 251 against, and 11 abstentions.