German Court Rules in Favor of Third Gender Category
/ Source: Reuters
Germany’s highest court ruled on Wednesday in favor of the introduction of a third gender category for people who do not identify as either male or female or are born with an ambiguous sexual anatomy.
The Federal Constitutional Court called on lawmakers to enact legislation by the end of 2018 to either allow the introduction of a third category or dispense with gender altogether in civil status documents.
Wednesday’s decision overturned a ruling by a lower court last year in a case brought by a German citizen born in 1989, identified as Vanja by the Third Option campaign group that supported the plaintiff in the case.
The lower court said it was not possible to be registered as third gender because Vanja could leave the gender identity blank.
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However, the Federal Constitutional Court said Germany’s Basic Law, or constitution, protected the personality rights of individuals who do not define themselves as male or female, adding that the current law on civil status interfered with that right.
“The Basic Law does not require that civil status be exclusively binary in terms of gender,” the court said in a statement.
The Third Option group described the ruling as “historic”, but said it is only the “first step on improving the situation of inter and transgender people”.