Civil Society

German parliament approves 'third gender' option

The Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag is pictured at the Tiergarten park with autumnal trees in Berlin, Germany, November 6, 2018.    REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch - RC19B6827FE0

The Reichstag building. Image: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

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Intersex Germans no longer have to choose between male and female options on their official documents

The German parliament has approved a third gender option on official documents for "intersex" people who do not identify as either male or female and may be born with untypical sexual anatomy.

The German government in August voted to introduce the third category of "various", alongside male and female, on birth certificates and other documents.

Both chambers of parliament have approved the new law, with the Bundesrat upper house giving its backing on Friday.

LGBT campaigners say the measure does not go far enough. They want new laws to make it easier for people who do not identify with the gender they were born with to change it on official documents.

The introduction of the new category came after the Federal Constitutional Court called on lawmakers to enact legislation to either introduce a third category or dispense with gender altogether in official documents.

The ruling followed a court appeal brought by an intersex adult and said that courts and state authorities should no longer compel intersex people to choose between identifying as male or female.

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