Citizens in Germany will be able to alter their gender and first name once a year, every year, under a bill that is anticipated to prevail soon in the country. The ‘Self-Determination Act’ will allow anyone requesting a name and gender change to skip any type of surgical procedure, hormone therapy, or psychological consultation.
According to the reports, anyone who identifies as transgender, intersex, or non-binary will be allowed to alter their gender under the act by simply going to a register’s office and filling out a form. Individuals will no longer be required to submit a medical report or receive a court order to alter their name and gender under the bill, which is anticipated to pass in parliament before the summer recess.
“For the disabled, the law is humiliating. We will finally replace it with a modern law of self-determination. The Self-Determination Act will improve the lives of transgender people and recognize gender diversity. In many areas, society is further ahead of legislation. As a government, we have decided to create a legal framework for an open, diverse and modern society”, said Family Minister Lisa Paus.
This is almost a month after the German government announced plans to make it easier for transgender people to change their first name and gender officially, acknowledging that existing legislation was outdated and humiliating. On June 30, Paus while addressing a Berlin press conference said that the right to live a self-determined life is fundamental to everyone.
The proposed new regulation will replace Germany’s 40-year-old transsexual legislation, which requires persons to appear in court and produce two expert evaluations, primarily from psychotherapists, before they can legally recognize the name and gender they identify with. To note, Gender dysphoria, a mental disorder, will be formally codified as a basic right under the new Act. Reports mention that the condition, which was earlier known as a psychiatric disorder, will also be validated in the same way that same-sex desire is.
According to YouGov polls, 46 percent of Germans support the government’s proposals to recognize gender dysphoria as a valid identity. Only feminist organizations and the political party named Alternative for Germany (AfD) are opposing the measure, claiming that it would deprive women of their rights and safety.
AfD’s Stephan Brandner, a member of the German parliament spoke about the legislation to Summit News. “The legislation has nothing to do with freedom but is an expression of blatant denial of reality. In biology, laws cannot simply be ignored,” Brandner said. Meanwhile, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party of Germany has also spoken out against the proposal, claiming that it will lead to irrationality in how official papers identify people. According to the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the rule may make it easier for criminals to avoid police or creditors by altering their name and identity.