US Department of Health plans antiquated “new” form of gender categorisation

According to the New York Times of 21 October 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to shorten the legal definition of “sex” in the Federal Civil Rights Laws. The paragraph “Title X” prohibits all forms of discrimination on the basis of sex in state-funded educational institutions. In a recently published draft by the Department of Health and Human Services, “sex” is to be defined in future as the dichotomous “female” or “male”, with these ascriptions being made on the basis of the sex characteristics present at birth, and shall be deemed unchangeable. In cases of ambiguity, genetic tests are supposed to be able to provide clarity. Catherine E. Lhamon, who headed the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights during the Obama administration, commented on the proposed sex definition, saying: “[This] quite simply negates the humanity of people”. The proposal ignores biological, sexual and medical facts; it is unethical and unscientific. Further information can be found under this link to the New York Times and under this link to an article from the Süddeutsche Zeitung  from 11 November 2018.

Draft bill on the third sex marker in the birth register

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). Continue reading “Draft bill on the third sex marker in the birth register”

Panel discussion and book presentation on 7 November in Berlin

A panel discussion on the third sex marker in the birth register will take place at the International Psychoanalytic University (IPU) Berlin on November 7 at 8 pm. The event will include a presentation of the book Die Schönheiten des Geschlechts. Intersex im Dialog [The Beauties of Gender. Intersex in Dialogue], edited by Katinka Schweizer and Fabian Vogler, which was published this year (2018). Among the participants are also Prof. Dr Konstanze Plett, Lucie Veith and Dr Ina-Marie Blomeyer. The new president of the IPU, Prof. Dr Ilka Quindeau, will moderate the evening. Further information about the event can be found here.