NewsFederal government makes it easier to change gender in passports – DW...

    Federal government makes it easier to change gender in passports – DW – 08/23/2023

    Those affected and their supporters fought for this for many years, and now the federal government has launched the new Self-Determination Act. The draft for this was presented by the Ministry of Justice and Family Affairs. In future, every adult will be able to freely choose their gender identity in the passport and decide for themselves between the entries “male”, “female”, “diverse” or “unspecified”.

    It does not matter whether this decision is based on a perceived belonging to the opposite sex (transsexuality), on biologically ambiguous sex characteristics (intersexuality) or on a lack of belonging to both sexes (nonbinary sexuality).

    The unbureaucratic change of the gender entry and thus often also of the first name at the registry office takes effect three months after the declaration. During this time, the data subject has the opportunity to revoke the change. The decision can then be changed after one year at the earliest. However, according to the Ministry of Justice, the draft law does not provide for any new regulations for gender-changing medical measures themselves. Here the relevant medical regulations and guidelines remain.

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    40 year old regulations abolished

    So far, people who want to change their gender in the passport have to obtain two psychiatric reports and answer very intimate questions. These reports cost more than 1,000 euros and the process takes months. A court will then have to decide. The Federal Constitutional Court has repeatedly classified parts of the transsexual law, which has been in force since 1981, as unconstitutional.

    Constitutional judges in Karlsruhe had repeatedly objected to the transsexual law Image: Uli Deck/picture alliance/dpa

    According to the draft, young people who are not yet of legal age but have reached the age of 14 can submit the declaration themselves, but they need the consent of their parents. For young people under the age of 14, only the parents or other legal representatives can submit the declaration of change of gender entry and first name.

    Men cannot change their gender record if doing so is evidently related to an impending defense call-up.

    Security concerns dispelled

    The Ministry of the Interior had feared that criminals could evade prosecution by changing their official gender entry and first name. Now it should be ensured that the Federal Criminal Police Office, the Federal Police, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution are informed about changes.

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    Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) sees security concerns about this law as being completely eliminated. “The Federal Ministry of the Interior still needed to specify the traceability of the identity for the security authorities, which was taken into account,” Paus told the news portal “The Pioneer”.

    Christopher Street Day 2022 Berlin, Ferda Ataman
    Ferda Ataman at this year’s Christopher Street Day in BerlinImage: Thomas Ino/photothek/picture alliance

    The Federal Commissioner for Anti-Discrimination, Ferda Ataman, considers parts of the bill to be insufficient. There are even “deteriorations compared to the transsexual law and the civil status law,” criticizes Ataman, according to “Zeit online”. This applies, for example, to the registration period or data transmission obligations to a large number of security authorities.

    Buschmann: It’s about the dignity of transgender people

    Ataman also criticized the new regulation, which was added at the insistence of the Ministry of the Interior, that foreigners can only apply for a change of gender entry if their residence status does not expire within the following two months. “The constitutionally protected right to self-determined change of first name and gender entry cannot be made dependent on a person’s residence status,” said Ataman.

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    Heavy criticism came from the Union and AfD. CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt accused the federal government of ignoring warnings about abuse.

    Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP), on the other hand, defended the draft law. He told the Berlin newspaper “Tagesspiegel” that the reform is about the freedom and dignity of transgender people. The state should no longer treat them like “sick people”.

    The set of rules is now being discussed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat. According to the will of the government, it could then come into force in November 2024.

    bri/se (kna, rtr, afp, dpa)

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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