German birth certificates to have 3 gender options
Measure aimed at babies born with uncertain sexual characteristics.
Babies born in Germany now have a third gender option. Beginning Nov. 1, they can be designated male, female or neither, reports The Christian Science Monitor.
The new law, which stemmed from a study on intersexuality by the German Ethics Council, will protect babies with uncertain sexual characteristics from gender-assignment surgery. Until now, such surgeries have been standard protocol. Germany will be the first European country to put classification practices like this into effect.
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“If a child cannot be designated male or female, then they should be entered on the birth register without such a status,” the new law states. According to 2007 government figures, at least 150 intersex babies are born in Germany each year.
“This is an interesting move, but it doesn't go far enough,” Silvan Agius, European policy director for the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, told the Christian Science Monitor.
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“Unnecessary surgeries will likely continue in Germany with devastating consequences ... we live in a world where having a baby classified as 'other' is still considered undesirable.”
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