A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Germany constitutional court rules non-binary gender option must be available at birth

[JURIST] Germany's highest constitutional court ruled [press release, in German] in an order [judgment, in German] published Wednesday that a third gender designation for intersex people must be made available at birth.

This ruling comes from a case brought by an intersex individual who was required to be registered at birth as male or female or leave the gender blank, resulting in a designation on their record as "missing information." A chromosomal analysis found that this individual was not distinctly male or female. An intersex person does not necessarily view themselves as not having a gender but may view their gender identity as being beyond the male or female designation thus leaving the "missing information" option as an incorrect representation of their identity.

The court held, through their interpretation of Article 1, Article 2, and Article 3 [text, in German] of the German federal constitution that the requirement of an intersex person to register conforming to a binary gender was in violation of fundamental rights of the individual and therefore unconstitutional.

The legislature must create regulations implementing this rule by December 31, 2018.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.