The German government on Thursday presented plans to make it easier for transgender people to change their names and genders legally, ending current rules that require expertise and judicial authorisation.
Under Germany’s current “transgender law”, which was put in place under the 1980 Transgender Act, individuals are required to go through a lengthy process to obtain assessments from two experts and a decision. of justice in their favour. The proposed “self-determination” law, titled the Self-Determination Act, would allow adults to change their first name and legal gender at their local registry office without further formality. With the permission of their parents or legal guardians, children aged 14 and over would also be allowed to use the new procedure.
Commenting on the bill, Federal Minister of Justice Dr. Marco Buschmann said that the time for a self-determination law had long come for Germany. Federal Family Minister Lisa Pause, who announced the move, explained:
The transsexual law dates from 1980 and is degrading for the people concerned. We will finally abolish it and replace it with a modern law of self-determination. Today is therefore a good day for freedom and for diversity in our country. The Self-Determination Act will improve the lives of transgender people and recognize gender diversity.
Legal gender reassignment through self-declaration is currently in place in a number of European countries, including Denmark and Switzerland.