Parents in Germany will be able to register their babies as a gender that is neither male or female, according to a court ruling.
Germany’s highest court has ruled that there must be an option of a third gender on birth certificates, after a woman whose chromosome test confirmed they were neither gender took the case to constitutional court.
Calling the current system “discriminatory” towards those who identify as intersex, the court gave the government until the end of 2018 to introduce a new law.
The ruling stated, “The legislature [parliament] has until 31 December 2018 to create new regulation.”
“Courts and administrative authorities are no longer allowed to apply the relevant standards, insofar as they amount to an obligation to indicate sex to persons whose sex development has variations in relation to female or male sexual development and who therefore do not permanently assign themselves to male or female sex.”
A joint statement released by campaign group Transgender Europe and German rights groups said, “We welcome this ground-breaking judgement as a beacon of hope for anyone outside the norms of sex and gender in Germany and Europe.”
“There are more than two genders and sexes.”
“It is high time to recognise the rights of every person not identifying as exclusively male or female, regardless of their sex characteristics.”
“These individuals are particularly vulnerable to violence, discrimination and inequalities in a system that only knows ‘male’ or ‘female’.”
In July, a Canadian baby became the first child ever without gender designation. The baby has been issued with a health card without a gender marker.
Canada also recently announced that they would be introducing gender-neutral passports, with an ‘X’ option being added alongside the pre-existing “M” for male and “F” for female.
In the UK, a campaigner is taking the gender-neutral passport case to the High Court. Christie Elan-Cane is challenging the government over the UK’s passport application process, which currently requires people to indicate whether they are male or female.