Court Rules Germany Must Recognize Third Gender

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

On Wednesday, Germany’s constitutional court ruled that the country must create a third gender category.

According to the New York Times, the decision was based on the right to privacy, which the court decided was violated by an insistence on two gender designations. The third category is meant to acknowledge people born with characteristics of both sexes, as well as anyone who does not feel they fit within the binary. The BBC reports that the case was brought to court by a person who was assigned female at birth, but whose chromosome test did not confirm either sex.

The government has until the end of 2018 to pass legislation in support of the ruling, and the new category may be called “inter” or “various.” A spokesperson confirmed that the government will comply with the ruling.


In 2013, Germany became the first country to allow parents to forego registering their newborns as a specific sex, but they have since been followed by others. There are currently eight countries that recognize more than two genders on passports and ID cards, and in California, people can register as “nonbinary” on official state documents.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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"Not a real" DrDonna

Yay! I’m glad that this is happening, and especially for intersex folks and nonbinary folks, both of whom tend to be forgotten in discussions around LGBTQIA issues.