Everything about the German Self-Determination Law

Why a new Law? TheTranssexuellengesetz (Transsexual Law), introduced in 1980, regulates how trans* people can legally change their name and gender entry in Germany.However, this law does not live up to its claims. Instead, obstacles are put in the way of trans* people:The process of changing name and gender entry requires two independent psychological assessments and a court hearing. This is discriminatory, takes forever and is very expensive.The Self-Determination Act is intended to replace the TSG and make it easy to change the name and gender entry by self-disclosure at the Standesamt (registry office).
24 Nov 2021 Coalition Agreement Already in the coalition agreement, the parties SPD, FDP and the Greens agree on abolishing the TSG and replacing it with a Self-Determination Law (see Link p. 95).
30 Jun 2022 Key Issues Paper The key issues paper by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Federal Ministry of Justice lays down the fundamental key points of the Self-Determination Act.This stipulates that it should be possible to change the first name and gender entry by self-disclosure at the Standesamt (registry office). A regulation for minors is also mentioned. In addition, a blocking period of one year is set to prevent abuse.
09 May 2023 Draft Bill The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Federal Ministry of Justice are jointly developing a first draft of the Self-Determination Act, which will then be discussed with associations and organizations.The draft bill generally adheres to the goals previously set in the key issues paper. There are new exceptions for detention centers and in house law (e.g. for women's saunas). In addition, the ability for cis men to change their gender entry is restricted in the event of war to prevent them from avoiding a convening.
23 Aug 2023 Government Draft From the consultations with the associations and organizations, the federal government creates the government draft, the preliminary version of the legal text, which will later be discussed in the Bundestag (Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany).The government draft published by the federal government is similar to the draft bill in most points. Thus the criticized exceptions for detention centers, in house law and in the event of war persist.In contrast to the waiting time of three months until the change of the first name and gender entry become valid, a desired change must now be registered with the Standesamt (registry office) three to six months in advance. After these three to six months, the declaration to change the gender entry and first name can be submitted to the Standesamt (registry office) and comes into force immediately.In addition, it is also insisted that in the event of a change to an earlier gender entry, the previously valid first name must be adopted.The last article "Inkrafttreten, Außerkrafttreten" (entry into force, going out of force) is surprising, according to which the law comes into effect as late as 01 Nov 2024.
20 Oct 2023 Review by the Federal Council Before the government draft can be discussed in the Bundestag (Parliament), it must be submitted to the Bundesrat (Federal Council) for comment.During the session, the SBGG was devoted to 16 minutes.First, the politicians Ursula Nonnemacher (Deputy of the Prime Minister of the State of Brandenburg) and Katja Meier (Saxon Minister of State of Justice and for democracy, Europe and equality), both from the party of the Greens, gave a speech in favor of the Self-Determination Law. They pointed out that self-determination of the gender entry and name were fundamental rights and that many members of the LSBTIQ+ community were victims of violence and discrimination.The subsequent poll in the plenum resulted in only the recommendations 7, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16 and 17 being supported by a majority. These recommendations mainly propose small changes, which aim to express certain parts of the law more clearly.
15 Nov 2023 1st Reading In the first reading in the Bundestag (Parliament), the government draft is debated for the first time together with the other parties. After that, the bill will be passed to the relevant committees, where it will be discussed further.The government speakers (FDP, SPD, Alliance 90/The Greens) spoke out in favor of the law and made clear that the TSG was unconstitutional and that discrimination against trans and intersex people must be stopped. The introduction of the SBGG was a question of respect.The AfD and the non-attached Matthias Helferich made statements such as: "obligation to lie", "mutilating gender reassignments" and a comparison of Germany with North Korea. In addition, the Self-Determination Act should not be introduced, otherwise the protection of children and teenagers would be at risk.There were also quotes from the CDU/CSU faction, such as: "Gender [is] fate", "Gender is always biologically based and cannot be freely chosen", the SBGG was an "overreaction" and being trans was a trend.MP Kathrin Vogler (The left) described the draft bill as disappointing and as a "law of missing confidence".Note: Quotes have been translated from German analogously.
28 Nov 2023 Public hearing in the family committee In addition to the meetings in the Bundestag, the Committee on Family, Seniors, Women and Youth holds a public hearing to which the parties of the Bundestag invite experts who give their assessment of the SBGG and inform about the topic.The experts' statements can be divided into two camps. On the one hand, there are experts who point out that the right to self-determination was a human right and that the abuse of the SBGG would be unrealistic. Fear in the population was based on anxiety and disinformation. In addition, a lot of improvements were still necessary in the current draft of the law; For example, the regulations for the blocking/registration period, for house rights, for military service, as well as for the forwarding of sensitive data to security authorities should be deleted without replacement.On the other hand, there are experts who see trans identity as a phase or trend, or justify them with "hidden homosexuality". In addition, abuse, especially of women's protection rooms, was a problem. The risk for society is "greater than the profit".Note: Quotes have been translated from German analogously.
12 Apr 2024 2nd and 3rd Reading with Final Vote As seen here, reading 2 and 3 are often combined. The second reading in the Bundestag (Parliament) discusses the results of the committees. Individual members of the Bundestag can request changes. At the end of the third reading, a final vote is taken on the law.Compared to the government draft, the recommendation of the family committee contains only small changes; In the event of a change in civil status, children starting at the age of 5 must agree and the parents of minors must confirm that they have been advised. In addition, the transfer of personal information to security authorities has been removed.The government parties' speakers (FDP, SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) emphasized the importance of this law for fundamental rights and human dignity. The suffering that the TSG has caused is now being put to an end. This meets broad support from women's policy organizations and churches.From the camps of the parties CDU/CSU, AfD and the group BSW, fears were loud, the law would be a risk for child and youth protection and could be susceptible to abuse. Some of these speakers believe that trans* would be imagination and a 'hype' that would be strengthened by a lobby and trans* people were only people in disguise and wigs.The group Die Linke welcomes the law, but also warns that this can only be the beginning; Advice options must be improved and regulations for financing health measures should be created.The decision recommendation of the family committee was accepted with 372 to 251 votes. The AfD's request to maintain the TSG and even tighten its regulations was rejected by the parliament.
17 May 2024 Consultation in the Federal Council As the Self-Determination Act is a Einspruchsgesetz ("veto law"), an approval by the Bundesrat (Federal Council) is not required. A veto however would delay the legislative process.The green politicians Katharina Fegebank, Dr. Benjamin Limbach and Doreen Denstädt spoke out for the law and emphasized its importance for trans* people. The request to call the mediation committee did not obtain a majority.
21 Jun 2024 Publication in the Federal Law Gazette After the text of the law has been signed by the Bundespräsident (Federal President), which is considered a formality, the law is published in its final form in the Bundesgesetzblatt (Federal Law Gazette).
01 Nov 2024 Entry into Force After the rest of the law comes into force, the actual change of civil status is possible at the registry office.
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About this Website
Hi, I'm Kim (they/them)! As a non-binary person, I've been waiting for the Self-Determination Act for ages.The deadlines for the law set by the federal government are constantly being pushed back and little is revealed about the progress of the project.On this page I want to give the Self-Determination Law the necessary transparency and document the current status of the legislation.If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me.