German birth certificates will allow “blank” gender

its-aboy-its-a-girl-teddy-bearsGerman parents will be able to select not just male and female but “blank” on their children’s birth certificates, starting this November. Although both Australia and New Zealand offers citizens the option of selecting x for their gender on their passports, Germany is the first country that has introduced a law that adds a third gender option to birth certificates, which parents can choose if their child is born intersex. The Intersex Society of North America defines intersex as,”a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male… intersex isn’t a discreet or natural category… Intersex is a socially constructed category that reflects real biological variation.” Under the new German law, the child can choose male, female or leave it blank, later in life.

Silvan Agius, policy director at human rights organization ILGA Europe (the European chapter of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) co-authored a report with the European Union [EU], finding that discrimination against trans and intersex people was still “rampant in all EU countries.”  He is frustrated by the lack of progress on trans rights in the European Union: ”Things are moving slower than they should at the European level… Though Brussels [The European Union's unofficial headquarters] has ramped up efforts to promote awareness of trans and intersex discrimination, I would like to see things speed up.” But he is optimistic about the influence the German law will have: “Germany’s move will put more pressure on Brussels… That can only be a good thing.”

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I think you mean a blank “sex”. You can’t know the gender of a baby yet as it can’t express itself yet. It is only the sex organs that are judged at this point.

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