In accordance with the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of 10 October 2017, the German legislator must agree on an amendment to the Personal Status Code (PStG). This is to be completed by 31 December 2018. The PStG is to allow the entry of a positive third sex marker in the birth register. Since the draft bill of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community of 5 June 2018 had been strongly criticised (see blog post of 28 June 2018, queer.de and a statement from the organisation Intersex International), a new draft law was presented on 7 September 2018 (here is a link to the PDF). Essentially, it provides for the following:
1) For newborns with a variation in sex development, the sex entry in the birth register is to be kept open or the category “diverse” is to be entered.
2) Persons with a variation in sex development, which must be confirmed by presentation of a medical certificate, and whose sex assignment at birth does not accord with their later gender experience, can subsequently have the sex entry in the birth register changed at the registry office. They can choose between “female”, “male” and “diverse” or delete an existing entry. This applies to adults and children from the age of 14 (see below). This can be accompanied by a first name change if so desired by the person.
3) The regulation to be able to retrospectively change the sex entry also applies to minors from the age of 14. The only condition is that they obtain the consent of their legal guardian. If the party concerned refuses to provide consent, this consent can be sought from the relevant family court, provided that this is in accordance with the best interests of the child.
4) In the case of children who are “legally incompetent” and children under the age of 14, the application can only be made by the legal guardian.
According to queer.de, the Federal Council raised no objections to this draft on 19 September 2018, but the Rhineland-Palatinate Family Minister Anne Spiegel (from the political party die Grünen) called for a more comprehensive bill. The Bundestag referred the bill to three of its committees after the first reading on 11 October 2018. Amendments may still be tabled. The 2nd and 3rd readings with the final vote on the bill are to take place in November 2018. Further information on the new draft bill can be found at the following:
- Press release from Intersexuelle Menschen e.V.
- Blog post from 28 June 2018
We would like to thank Prof. Dr Konstanze Plett (Bremen) for her advice on and review of this article.