By A. S.
Germany plans to pass a new law on self-determination that will allow German citizens to change their gender once a year without prior court decisions or surgery, reported Remix News. Anyone who wants to change their gender will simply have to go to the registry office.
The law is supposed to replace legislation from 1980, which the Federal Ministry of Justice says is essentially “unconstitutional”. In the German Bundestag, the legislative process is expected to begin shortly before lawmakers go on vacation.
Of the previous legislation, Family Affairs Minister Lisa Paus said it would be replaced with “a modern law on self-determination that will improve the lives of transgender people and recognise gender diversity”. The law is also supported by the Minister of Justice, Marko Buschmann, who believes that the law is part of the diversity of life itself. According to him, the current legislation treats transgender people as if they are “sick”, for which there is “no excuse”.
The Self-Determination Act is supposed to provide general guidelines for all transgender, intersex, and non-binary people to change their gender and name whenever they want. Thus, now German citizens will be able to change their gender and name, as was said, by simply visiting the registry office. The new legislation, if passed, will not require a medical report, expert report, or court decision to be submitted.
But the new law is not completely without limitations. German citizens will only be able to change their gender once a year. Also, the law only refers to the change of gender and name at the registry office, and the actual “change” of gender or the change of genitals will still require the opinions of medical experts. Also, minors under the age of 14 will not be able to submit a gender change request at the office themselves, but their legal representatives or guardians will have to do it on their behalf. Teenagers over the age of 14 will be able to fulfil the request at the registry office themselves, but the court will intervene if their parents or legal guardians object.
A public opinion survey by the YouGov Institute showed that as many as 46 percent of Germans approve of the new legislation, while 41 percent oppose it. The legislation is also opposed by some feminist groups, and of the political parties, only the Alternative for Germany (AfD) opposes it. One of the party’s representatives, Stephan Brandner, stated that “the law has nothing to do with liberties, but it is only an expression of shameless denial of reality”, adding that biological laws cannot simply be ignored. Certain reservations were also expressed by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which opposes the withdrawal of expert opinions, especially for teenagers. Social democrats from the ranks of the SDP, meanwhile, fully support the law.