The controversial self-determination law can come into force. The Federal Council let it happen by refraining from calling the Mediation Committee about it. The law will make it much easier in the future to have the gender entry and first name changed by the authorities. In future this will only require a declaration to the registry office. A court decision and two expert reports, which were previously required, will no longer be necessary in the future.

The relief primarily affects transgender, intersex and non-binary people who previously had to go through these high hurdles and costly procedures in order to have their gender entry changed.

“Nothing will be taken away from anyone”

The previous procedure under the more than 40-year-old transsexual law, in which those affected were asked the most intimate questions, was degrading, said Hamburg’s deputy head of government Katharina Fegebank (Greens). The following applies to the new regulation: “Nothing will be taken away from anyone. Injustice will be eliminated. And for many it is a great day for a freer and more self-determined life.”

NRW Justice Minister Benjamin Limbach (Greens) emphasized that many regulations had been fought over on the way to this law. The result is good, even if the law may not be perfect in every detail. “With the Self-Determination Act we are taking a big step towards an open, tolerant and diverse society,” said Limbach.