29 May 2024,   10:21
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Gender identity law passes in German parliament - Deutsche Welle

Lawmakers in Germany on Friday approved a law to make it easier for transgender, intersex, and nonbinary people to change their name and gender in official records, writes Deutsche Welle.

“Under Germany’s current so-called “transsexual law”, expert evaluations and a court decision are necessary if someone wants to change their gender. Opponents say this is invasive, forcing people seeking a change to undergo a psychological assessment and often intimate questioning.

The law, supported by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three-party coalition and the socialist Left Party, eventually passed on a vote of 374 to 251. The Bundestag debate was both contentious and sometimes emotional.

“As trans people, we experience time and again that our dignity is made a matter of negotiation”, Green lawmaker Nyke Slawik, herself a transgender woman who changed her legal gender, told parliament.

“For more than 40 years, the “transsexual law” has caused a lot of suffering [...] and only because people want to be recognized as they are”, - Sven Lehmann, the government’s LGBTQ+ commissioner, told lawmakers. “And today we are finally putting an end to this”.

Under the current transsexual law, people may officially change their first name and gender only after they have been assessed by 2 psychiatrists and a court has given permission. The Self-Determination Act would allow these changes to be made in a simple procedure. The draft defines a trans person as someone who does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, or not solely with that gender. The new law would also apply to those who do not identify exclusively as male or female, termed nonbinary people”, - writes DW.

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