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Germany 'third' gender becomes law

Source BBC News@

Babies in a maternity wardAs many as one in 2,000 people have characteristics of both sexes

Germany is to become Europe's first country to allow babies with characteristics of both sexes to be registered as neither male nor female.

Parents will be allowed to leave the gender on birth certificates, in effect creating a new categories of "indeterminate sex".

The move is aimed at removed pressure on parents to quickly make decisions on sex assignment surgeries for newborns.

As many as one 2,000 people have characteristics of both sexes.

'Bruised and scarred'

They are known as "intersex" people because they have a mixture of male and female chromosomes or even genitalia which have characteristics of both genders.

The intense difficulty for parents is often that a gender has to be chosen very quickly so that the new child can be registered with the authorities, the BBC's Steve Evans in Berlin reports.

Sometimes surgery is done on the baby to turn its physical characteristics as far as possible in one direction or the other, our correspondent says.

The law in Germany has been following a review of cases which revealed great unhappiness.

In one case, a person with no clear gender-defining genitalia was subjected to surgery. The person said many years later: "I am neither a man nor a woman. I will remain the patchwork created by doctors, bruised and scarred."

German passports, which currently list the holder's sex as M for male or F for fremale, will soon have a third designation, X, for intersex holders, according to the interior ministry.

It remains unclear what impact the change will have on marriage and partnership laws in Germany.

Current laws define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and civil partnerships are reserved for same-sex couples.

Đăng ký: Tieng Anh Vui

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