News and Commentary

Germany Creates Third Gender Identity For Birth Registry: ‘Diverse’

Germany officials announced Wednesday that they have approved the addition of a third gender, “diverse,” to the country’s registry, allowing gender non-conforming individuals to select an option more in line with their position on “gender spectrum.”

The German Cabinet declaration comes in response to a Federal Constitutional Court decision which said, according to News.Com.Au, that individuals have the right “to be entered in records as neither male nor female,” and ordered authorities “either to create a third identity or scrap gender entries altogether.”

In Germany, individuals have the constitutional right to official recognition of their gender non-conformity, and leaving the “gender” space blank (instead of indicating either male or female) simply wasn’t sufficient.

The vote affects all official German documents, including birth certificates. Parents who want to raise their children “gender neutral” can now select “various” as an option on their children’s birth certificates. Most Germans affected by the Cabinet’s declaration, though, will be “intersex” adults answering questions on current forms, or looking to adjust their birth certificates to reflect their current gender identity.

‘No one should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual identity,” the minister who drafted the bill told media. She added that “intersex people” would now have a “Greater sense of dignity and positive identity” as a result of the Cabinet’s vote.

The German Parliament still has to vote to affirm the Cabinet’s decision, and the third gender option’s use is restricted. Currently, only “intersex” people may use the “diverse” or “various” gender option. The Cabinet has promised to address transgender individuals in a later bill.