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Germany passes law making it easier to legally change gender

A blue, pink and white fan.
A blue, pink and white fan. Copyright Ebrahim Noroozi/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Ebrahim Noroozi/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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The legislation allows under-18s to change their legal gender and first name with parental consent.

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Germany's parliament passed a new law on Friday, easing legal procedures for changing names and gender identity. 

The 'Gender Identity Act' was widely supported by the ruling 'traffic light' coalition of Olaf Scholz, though debates were fiery and emotional. 

The final vote count was 374 in favour with 251 against. 

Before the new legislation - which comes into effect on 1 November - those applying to legally change gender needed the approval of two psychiatrists “sufficiently familiar with the particular problems of transsexualism.”

A court would then decide if the legal change was allowed.  

Now, under the new law, adults aged 18 and over only have to notify authorities three months before. Then it is a simple procedure to choose a new gender out of three existing options in German legislation. 

No further changes or undoes are allowed for a year.

For German citizens aged 14-18, such applications to change their first name or gender entry must be approved by parents and guardians. 

If they refuse, an applicant may address Family Court to override their say. For people under 14, parents or guardians must file a request in their name.

Public places, like gyms and dressing rooms, still have the right to decide whom they allow in.

The new law addresses only legal procedures and doesn't change gender-changing surgery rules.

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