Revision of the Transsexuellengesetz, 2009

On April 08, 2009 the German Ministery of the Interior (BMI) quite surprisingly published a draft of a new law to handle the legal matters of transsexuality.:

The Ministery asked for ad hoc reports commenting the draft. This happend upon urgent request by the LSVD, the German organisation supporting LGBT matters. Various Groups from the LGB and Trans community as well as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sexualforschung (DGFS) who is maintaining the German SOCs for medical treatment of transsexual people prepared comments on the draft. These positions have not been considered. The draft has been presented unmodified to the government and will be diskussed in the Deutsche Bundestag on May 28, 2009.

In response, the group "Die Linken" in the Bundestag presented a proposal to entirely drop the law and to integrate the matters both of transsexual and intersexual people into the two existing laws to regulate naming and legal state of all people.

In the forthcoming, both proposals will be summed up. A documentation of the process in German as well as this English summary is maintained on

April 2009, BMI

Summing up the most important Details, *name* changes shall be based on only one "testimony" by a medical specialist instead of the two expert opinion required at present. While the exact nature of this testimony is unclear it is to be based on a long term assessment of the transsexual person and it has to certify the (absolute) irreversibility of the transsexual feelings of the person. At present, a large probablility of the irreversibility of the feelingss of the person is demanded. Despite of this, a clause enabling a simple withdrawal of the name change by the person in case of error or change of the feelings is still included.

Partners shall be required to actively permit the change (and thus block it, even if the marriage is in divorce, which may require several years). Both partners shall be required to be present in court.
At present, there is only an indirect representation of the interests of partners by the so called representative of public interest who in the 28 years of the present law never saw any reason to act into the procedure.

Name changes of underaged transsexual persons shall require the permission of another court specialized on issues of underaged people.

The *change of the legal status* still requires infertility and an also not precisely specified adoption of the appearance of the other sex - except in cases where the medical treatment would lead to mortal danger or severe impairment of health. These preconditions shall be testified by an expert opinion. Partners are required to explicitly permit and agree to the change. If the name change has already been performed, the expert opinion testifying the preconditions of the name change shall be not necessary any more.

New are sections handling changing the paperworks. The regulations to change older documents contain clauses relativating them to "as far as possible" or "as far as the contetns of the document are not changed". There are no clearly specified rights, which is apparently a step behind the present situation, which is based on case-law and gives institutions arguments not to change documents.

In addition, a written confirmation attesting the application shall be possible, which expires within 6 months ans then needs renewal.

May 2009, Die Linken

It is demanded that there shall be an entitlement for name changes of the opposite gender or mixed gender names upon simple application at the civil registry offices.

Independent on surgical modifications of the body there shall be an entitlement toward a change of the legal state of a person after one year of living in the appropriate gender role. New gender roles "transgender" and "intersexual" shall be permissible. The officially registrated gender and the gender notation in the passport may differ.

Marriages and civil unions shall be converted into each other corresponding to the genders of the two partners.

The regulation shall be also applicable to all foreign people with a resumably long term residence in Germany (three years for asylum seeking persons).

Independent networks of counselers shall be promoted. Active campaings against discrimination because of sexual or gender identity by a governmental institution and the promotion of non-medical research on transgenderism and transsexuality shall be performed.

Medical insurances shall be required to cover the costs of medical treatment (i.e. HRT, surgical treatment for gender reassignment, counseling), especially including intersexual people seeking gender reassignment as grown ups.

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