Bring on 2018 – reaction to German Constitutional Court decision on gender markers

The German Constitutional Court decision is ground-breaking. It’s putting the conversation about recognition of intersex and non-binary people front and centre in a very positive way. 

German policymakers now have two options: introduce a third gender option for people who do not identify as a man or a woman, or remove gender registration altogether.

Either way, the official recognition of people outside the gender binary is coming to Germany! Yesterday, the court imposed a deadline that has to be met by legislators, so we know things will change by the end of 2018.

The court ruling recognises the wonderful diversity in our LGBTI movement. There are people who identify as male or female or non-binary. By opening up the options on birth certificates (or even removing the need to note down gender markers on such documents in the first place) it acknowledges the existence of intersex and non-binary people in our societies.  

Already in 2013, Germany introduced changes to gender registration. For babies that at birth were identified as intersex, with variations in sex characteristics that don’t fit medical norms for female or male bodies, the gender marker was left blank. However well intended, this blank led to increased stigmatisation of intersex people and raised the pressure on parents to agree to sex-conforming surgeries to make their child fit  a male or female gender marker.

ILGA-Europe are very pleased to hear it stated so publicly that more than two gender and sexes exist. We hope that the voices of many, many intersex and non-binary activists will be heard and listened to during the legislative process – as Hanne Gaby Odiele said at our Gala this year, intersex people are part of society and need recognition and respect!

Hanne Gaby Odiele at European Equality Gala 2017 from ILGA-Europe on Vimeo.

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