Not just male or female – Germany must recognise third gender, top court says

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court on Wednesday called for a third gender option in the registry of births. Intersex people, who are neither male nor female, should be able to register their sexual identity as such, the Karlsruhe court ruled, Deutsche Welle reports.

“The legislature could waive the entry of a third sex in the register. Instead, it may also give the affected persons the opportunity to choose another positive name for gender that is not male or female,” the court says.

Germany would become the first European country to offer intersex people the option of identifying as a designation other than male or female.

The Central Committee of German Catholics and the Federal Association of German Registrars were against the idea.

Federal Minister of Family Affairs Katarina Barley welcomed the decision and called on the new government to attend to the issue as soon as it forms a coalition government: “The new government must take immediate action to ensure that the Federal Constitutional Court’s requirements are implemented,” Barley said, addressing the parties likely to form the government. “I expressly plead for a comprehensive reform of the law for trans- and intersexuals in accordance with the Council of Europe’s guidelines.”