Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

German parliament votes to make it easier for transgender people to change their name and gender

By 37ci3 Apr13,2024


BERLIN – German lawmakers on Friday approved a law that would make it easier for transgender, intersex and non-binary people to change their names and gender on official records.

The “The right to self-determination” One of a number of social reforms promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s liberal-leaning coalition government when it takes office at the end of 2021 will take effect on November 1.

Germany, the European Union’s most populous country, is following several other countries in making this change. The Bundestag, the lower house of the parliament, approved it with 374 votes, 251 against, and 11 abstentions.

German law will allow adults to change their name and legal gender without any formalities at the registry offices. They must notify the office three months before making the change.

The current forty-year-old “transgender law” requires people who want to change their gender in official documents to first get an assessment from two experts “sufficiently familiar with the specific problems of transsexualism” and then a court decision.

Since that law was drafted, Germany’s highest court has struck down other provisions requiring transgender people to divorce and undergo sterilization and sex-reassignment surgery.

The government’s queer commissioner, Sven Lehmann, told MPs that “for more than 40 years, the ‘transgender law’ has caused a lot of suffering… and only because people want to be recognized as who they are.” “And today we finally put an end to that.”

The main focus of the new legislation is on the legal identity of natural persons. This does not involve any amendment to Germany’s gender reassignment surgery regulations.

The new rules will allow minors aged 14 and over to change their name and legal gender with the consent of their parent or guardian; if they don’t agree, the teenagers can apply to the family court to have them annulled.

For children under the age of 14, parents or guardians must apply to the registrar on their behalf.

No further changes will be allowed for one year after the official change of name and gender becomes effective. The new legislation means operators of gyms and women’s changing rooms, for example, will continue to decide who has access.

Demonstrators protested in front of the building of the parliament Bundestag in Berlin, demanding a law protecting the rights of the transgender community.
Transgender rights activists protest in front of the German Bundestag on April 12, 2024 in Berlin.Ebrahim Noroozi / AP

Nyke Slawik, a transgender woman elected to parliament in 2021 from one of the ruling parties, the Green Party, spoke about her experience of going through the current system ten years ago. He said, “Is this your brother’s license?” he was tired of asking the question. when you have to know yourself.

“Two years, lots of conversations with experts and one district court process later – the name change happened and I was about €2,000 ($2,150) poorer,” he told MPs. “As trans people, we often feel that our dignity becomes an issue for negotiation.”

The mainstream conservative opposition slammed the legislation for what it described as a lack of safeguards against abuse and a lack of protection for young people. Conservative MP Susanne Hierl complained that the government was “ignoring the legitimate concerns of many women and girls”.

“You want to be loud, but you want to please a very small group, and in doing so you’re dividing the community,” Hierl said.

Martin Reichardt of the far-right Alternative for Germany party condemned what he called “ideological nonsense”.

Among others, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Spain there are already similar laws.

Scottish Parliament in 2022 in Great Britain passed the bill it will allow people aged 16 or over to change the gender designation on their identity documents by self-declaration. This decision by Scotland’s highest civil court was vetoed by the British government was kept in force in December.

Other social liberal reforms include the Scholz government legalized his ownership limited amount of cannabis; eased the rules about get German citizenship and ended restrictions on dual citizenship; and ended the ban about doctors “advertising” abortion services. Same-sex marriage was already legalized in 2017.



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By 37ci3

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