In a few days, the successor to the transsexual law should be ready. This would make changing the gender entry easier than before.
BERLIN taz | Trans, inter and non-binary people have been waiting for this for a long time, and now the self-determination law has come a step closer: the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs (BMFSFJ) and the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ) reached an agreement this week at speaker level. First reported the Southgerman newspaperfrom government circles this has now also been confirmed to the taz.
There seems to be a firm will in the coalition to get the Self-Determination Act off the ground as quickly as possible, and the joint draft is on the home straight. In the next few days, this united speaker draft will be sent to the other departments. Associations will then also receive the draft and can pass on their criticism to the justice and family ministries.
The self-determination law is intended to replace the transsexual law, which is partly unconstitutional, and to ensure that the gender entry is changed as easily as possible. The federal government actually wanted to implement the self-determination law at the end of last year. Trans, inter and non-binary people have faced expensive and humiliating efforts, including court cases, to change their names and civil status prior to psychological assessment.
It is one of the few projects on which all governing parties agree: the SPD, the Greens and the FDP at least included reform of the transsexual law in their party programs, while the coalition agreement agreed on its abolition and the introduction of the self-determination law. Nevertheless, it has taken so far.
A waiting period of three months is new
“It is clear that this law should and will make life for trans people significantly better,” says government circles. Essentially, agreement was reached on the cornerstones of the Self-Determination Act that were presented in the summer: the two psychiatric reports required up to now and the court proceedings for trans, inter and non-binary people are no longer applicable.
Under the new law, parents of children under the age of 14 should submit a declaration of change to the registry office. 14 to 18 year olds should do this themselves – with parental consent. If the parents do not agree, the family court can agree.
In the past, associations have criticized this point in particular, since 14 to 18-year-olds who still live with their parents are unlikely to go to court. From the age of 18, trans, inter and non-binary people can change their gender entry and first names through self-insurance at the registry office.
In addition, there will be a ban on disclosure: who dead namei.e. the former name of a person, without their consent, threatens a fine.
What is new is a three-month waiting period for the change to take effect. That was not intended in the key points. Government circles refer to other countries with self-determination laws such as Belgium and Luxembourg, which also have what is known as over-hasty protection. Within these three months, a person can also withdraw their declaration. It is still unclear whether she will be able to present her self-insurance to the registry office again within the next three months.
Household rights as a discrimination option
Also new is a point that caused discussions in January, when Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) in an interview with the Time said: “The operator of a women’s sauna should also be able to say in the future: I want to take account of the protection of the privacy of my customers and therefore tie in with the external appearance of a person. The operators must then not be exposed to the risk of a lawsuit under the General Equal Treatment Act, for example. In a sauna, the operator can determine whether and which trans people are admitted.”
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So it should now also be included in the draft law: In the event of a dispute, the house rules should apply. This point in particular causes criticism. Felicia Ewert, Author of Trans.Woman.Being wrote about it on Twitter: “LOL, that’s called a legally enshrined option to discriminate. And it’s a step backwards from where we are now.”
Meanwhile, it is said by the queer officer Sven Lehmann (Greens) on Twitter: “Domestic rights and AGG remain unchanged.” The legal situation will not be changed with the new regulation in the self-determination law, a refusal of access should not be based solely on gender.
In addition to criticism of domiciliary rights, the three-month protection against haste caused criticism. Basically, however, there is great satisfaction that, after all the back and forth in the federal government, progress is being made with the self-determination law. The German Women’s Council writes on Twitter: “That’s good news for the weekend.”
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