Male – Female – Diverse: The “third option“ and the General Act on Equal Treatment
German civil status law was amended at the end of 2018, allowing intersex people in Germany the option of choosing “diverse” rather than “male” or “female” as their sex marker in civil status entries at the registry office, the so-called “third option” (General Act to Amend the Law on Entries in the Birth Register (Gesetz zur Änderung der in das Geburtenregister einzutragenden Angaben) of 18 December 2018, Federal Law Gazette I page 2635).
In October 2017, the First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court upheld a complaint by an intersex person, ruling that entry of a positive designation beyond the binary gender model had to be possible.
Germany is now one of the few countries of the world to recognise in law the existence of more than two genders. The ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court not only has an impact on civil status law, but also has consequences for many other areas. In the context of the General Act on Equal Treatment (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG), that primarily concerns protection against discrimination in working life.