Germany has become another country that legally recognizes intersex and gender non-conforming people. Now those who do not identify as male or female can now register as ‘diverse’ on official government documents.
The new law which was approved by Germany’s parliament in December went into effect on Tuesday, January 1. Individuals wanting to register as intersex must have a certificate of approval form a doctor.
Critics claim that the new law does not do enough to recognize rights of intersex and/or gender non-conforming people. Since 2013, people who did not identify as either male or female could opt-out of registering their gender. But in 2017 Germany’s high court ruled that not recognizing intersex people denied their basic rights to a gender.
The UN estimates that between 0.5% to 1.7% of the global population are born with intersex traits.
Other countries have passed similar laws.
In June, Austria’s constitutional court passed a law which recognizes the rights of intersex people.
Australia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, New Zealand, and Canada have also introduced measures to improve the rights of the intersex community.
Many progressive politicians and LGBTI rights supporters in Germany have welcomed the move.
But some equal rights activists have said the law does not go far enough with regards to recognizing the rights of the intersex community.
Those wishing to register as intersex must first undergo a medical examination and receive approval from a doctor.
Equal rights activists have said that this procedure is intrusive and in fundamental contrast with the basic rights of intersex people.
Trans rights groups have also criticized the law, which they say could make it harder for trans people to update their official documents.