Hey Haters! Germany Now Allows "Third Gender" On Its Birth Certificates
Need a pick-me-up on your Saturday morning? In Germany, parents are now legally allowed to leave a birth certificate blank — essentially registering their newborn child as a “third gender” — if the sex is difficult to identify at birth.
The law — the first of its kind in Europe — will come into effect as soon as November 1, and will apply to intersexuals and hermaphrodites, although not to transsexuals. It'll allow birth certificates to be left blank until the baby is old enough to decide whether to identify as female, male or neither.
"If the child cannot be identified as female or male, the personal gender is to be left blank and to be so entered into the births register," the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.
But the law will have ripple effects that might even affect the country's marriage laws. As it stands, Germany allows civil partnerships but not gay marriage — whether having no designated sex will become a type of loophole, therefore, remains unclear. It might also mean changes for ID cards and passports, which at the moment have the standard Female/Male binary. According to a German Justice Minister, “comprehensive reform" could therefore be necessary.
In May, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce similar legislation which allows individuals to choose a third gender-neutral option on passports, marriage licences and death certificates.