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Germany Third Gender Option a First for Europe

Germany Third Gender Option a First for Europe
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By    |   Wednesday, 08 November 2017 11:41 AM

Germany will recognize a third gender, making it the first European country to provide such an option to intersex people, CNN reported.

The highest German court ruled on Wednesday that lawmakers must legally recognize a "third gender,” saying the current system that only provides a male and female option was unconstitutional.

The court added that new legislation on the change should be enforced by Dec. 31, 2018.

Germany will join Australia, India, New Zealand, Nepal and California in recognizing a third gender on official documents, the BBC News noted.

Californian Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed The Gender Recognition Act into law, making it possible for residents to now list a non-binary gender category on driver's licenses, state issued IDs and birth certificates.

Johannes Dimroth, a spokesman for Germany's Interior Ministry, said per CNN on Wednesday, "We fully respect the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court and the government is fully willing to implement the decision."

The Independent reported the decision followed a legal challenge brought by an intersex person who attempted to alter their registered sex to “inter” or “divers,” and the application was rejected by authorities.

The Federal Constitutional Court said the assignment of a sex was “of paramount importance for individual identity,” per The Independent.

According to the United Nations, intersex people have sex characteristics that don’t fit typical definitions of male and female and up to 1.7 percent of the world's population are affected by the condition.

The U.N. has called all governments to ban discrimination on the basis of sex characteristics, intersex traits or status.

The Third Option has been campaigning for third gender recognition in Europe.

The activist group applauded the court’s decision, saying that for the first time in the Federal Republic, there was a legal certainty regarding the protection of the fundamental rights to people who are neither women nor men.

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Germany will recognize a third gender, making it the first European country to provide such an option to intersex people,
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2017-41-08
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 11:41 AM
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