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Karlsruhe: Only two birth genders recognized

August 4, 2016

The Federal Court of Justice has ruled that "intersex" is incompatible with Germany's birth register. According to Karlsruhe, individuals may identify otherwise, but records are limited to "male," "female" and no gender.

Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Uli Deck

For paperwork purposes, there is no such thing as a nonbinary gender, Germany's Federal Court of Justice ruled on Thursday. The Karlsruhe tribunal decided against an intersex person named by the advocacy group Dritte Option (third option) as Vanja, registered at birth in 1989 as female.

According to the Federal Court of Justice, German family law recognizes only "male" and "female" in the birth registry, and although an update in 2013 allows people to choose neither or to have their gender descriptions stricken from the record later, "it did not create a further sex." On those grounds, the court rejected Vanja's request to switch the imposed description to "inter" or "diverse."

The ruling affirms the decision of a regional court against Vanja. Dritte Option has announced plans for a constitutional challenge and a demonstration in front of the court on September 17.

mkg/kms (dpa, KNA, AP)