Gender affirming law in Germany
< 1 min read

Germany’s LGBTQ+ community is gearing up for a momentous occasion. This Friday marks the official adoption of a new gender identity law, a victory based on self-determination for transgender and non-binary individuals.

This legislation stands in stark contrast to other countries such as Sweden, where the new law doesn’t fully embrace self-declaration. In Germany, individuals will have the power to change their legal name and gender designation through a simple registration process with the tax authorities. This “Elternung mit Eigenversicherung,” or self-declaration, empowers people to be recognised by the state for who they truly are.

While the law was met with opposition from far-right and conservative groups like the AfD, Christian Democrats, and the new left Alliance Sahra Wagenknecht, the “traffic light” coalition government persevered. Sven Lehmann, the Greens’ representative for LGBTQ+ issues within the government, celebrated the upcoming adoption on social media: “This is not just a triumph for basic human rights of transgender, intersex, and non-binary people, but for an open and democratic society as a whole.”

Sven Lehmann - Gender reform
Sven Lehmann

The self-determination model means anyone over 18 can change their name and gender with a simple declaration. Young people aged 14-17 can also participate, but require parental consent.

To prevent potential misuse, the law includes safeguards. Legal gender changes won’t be possible solely to avoid conscription, a measure in place due to the potential for a future crisis reinstating mandatory service for men. Additionally, the law will undergo a comprehensive evaluation after five years.

With this modernized legislation, Germany joins its Nordic neighbours in embracing self-determination as a cornerstone of gender identity reform. The law officially takes effect on November 1st, 2024, marking a significant step forward for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity in Germany.

Last Updated on Apr 12, 2024

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