Everyone should soon be able to determine their own gender and first name. However, this is controversial. The Bundestag is now discussing possible changes to Family Minister Paus’ draft law.
The coalition’s plans to make it easier to change gender registration have met with unanimous rejection from the opposition in the Bundestag.
“From our point of view, gender is not self-determined, but rather fate,” emphasized CDU MP Mareike Lotte Wulf at the first reading of the so-called Self-Determination Act. The deputy AfD parliamentary group leader Beatrix von Storch explained: “You can’t change your gender any more than you can change your age or height.”
However, the plans of the traffic light coalition do not go far enough for the left. The left-wing faction’s queer policy spokeswoman, Kathrin Vogler, complained that the draft law was “rather disappointing” and characterized by a “spirit of mistrust” towards those affected.
The planned new regulation is aimed primarily at transgender, intersex and non-binary people. According to the bill from Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens), every person in Germany should in future be able to determine their gender and first name themselves and change them in a simple procedure at the registry office. Experts, doctors and judges have been deciding on this for far too long, said Paus in the parliamentary debate. “The Self-Determination Act eliminates humiliating reports, lengthy court proceedings and high fees.”
“Defend the human dignity of transgender people”
Any changes to the draft law will now be discussed in parliamentary committees before the Bundestag takes a final vote on them. Requests for changes came from CDU MP Wulf, among others. For example, she called for effective “hasty protection” for children and young people who want to change their gender. The deputy Union parliamentary group leader Dorothee Bär (CSU) advocated maintaining an obligation to provide advice, at least for young people – “not out of paternalism, but really out of care.”
The Federal Government’s Queer Commissioner, Sven Lehmann (Greens), called on all democratic parties to “protect transgender people and defend their human dignity.” In the past few months, defamatory false claims have been used to deliberately stir up sentiment against the planned self-determination law, he told the German Press Agency. “Fears and insecurities must not be stirred up just to get votes. Instead of fueling the mood further on the backs of those affected, I call on the Union in particular to conduct an objective debate about the law.”
Federal government bill
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.