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The German government has proposed a revolutionary new law that would make it easier for individuals to change their name and gender legally. The “self-determination law” would eliminate the need for expert assessments and court authorization that have been required for decades. Instead, adults would be able to make legal changes at register offices without additional bureaucratic formalities. The proposed legislation aims to protect the rights of transgender, intersex, and non-binary people, while also preventing discrimination against them.


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The Current System: A Bureaucratic Burden

The current “transsexual law,” enacted in 1981, mandates that people obtain assessments from two experts with adequate knowledge and experience of transsexualism. They must then receive a court decision to change the gender on official documents, leading to significant bureaucratic hurdles.

Proposed Changes: Easing the Legal Gender and Name Change Process

The new “self-determination law” would enable people to change their first name and legal gender without having to undergo assessments or obtain court decisions. Children under 14 would need legal guardians to submit the declaration of change, while teenagers aged 14 and above could submit it themselves, with their guardians’ support.

Reactions to the Proposed Law: A Revolutionary Leap Forward

Germany’s justice minister, Marco Buschmann, hailed the proposed law, saying, “Transgender people have been subjected to discrimination and undignified treatment for far too long.” He believes that the self-determination law would put an end to this condition. Germany’s minister for families, Lisa Paus, echoed Buschmann’s sentiments, stating that the new law would give dignity back to those who have been deprived of it for decades.

Global Developments: Spain, Scotland, and Beyond

While Germany is leading the way in legal gender and name change, other countries are also implementing similar changes. In Spain, a new law allows individuals over 16 to change their legally registered gender without medical supervision. Minors aged 12-13 require a judge’s authorization to change, while those aged 14-16 must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians. However, the far-right Vox party has contested this law, and it will be considered by the Constitutional Court. In Scotland, a bill that would have simplified the gender change process was vetoed by the British government in December 2022.


Germany’s proposed “self-determination law” is a monumental step forward in protecting the rights of transgender, intersex, and non-binary individuals. By eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy, the legal gender and name change process will be more accessible and equitable. While some countries have been slow to implement similar laws, the global trend towards protecting the rights of these individuals is clear. The proposed law in Germany is a beacon of hope, a sign that progress towards equality and dignity for all is achievable.

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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