Once more, progression and modernisation hit Europe for the better. This week Germany passed a law that allows babies with characteristics of both the male and female sex to be registered as neither on their birth certificate. This allows parents to make this important choice at a later date, reducing hasty decisions that may effectively damage an individual’s life both physically and mentally. Though the law does not cover how Germany’s marriage laws may be affected or indeed the surgeries and medical treatment that those of an undetermined sex may require in the future, this is another leap forward in the support of those in a minority.
Personally, I recognise this as a momentous occasion. There is absolutely nothing that a new born can do to determine how they are created and this will impact upon their future. The least they should be able to expect is the support from their government and the opportunity to decide the path they want to take in regards to their sexuality later in life. Prejudice will always surround this issue, but with legislation in place, at least the pressure to conform is relieved slightly as far as legalities are concerned.
It interests me that this legislation has been passed whilst Merkel is in power. As head of Christian Democrats, you would think this would be an uneasy issue for her to back wholeheartedly. However, I imagine there is a large appeal in being the first in Europe to allow this and leading where others can now only follow. There has been evidence of this legislation working in other parts of the world though, Australia being one of the first by offering a choice of selecting “Sex X” on the birth certificate.
But why has this taken so long? 1 in 2000 people are born with characteristics of both sexes. It seems that where creating equality is concerned we take two steps forward and one step back. Positive discrimination is still frowned upon, racism is rife and homophobia is a much larger issue than any of us would care to admit. Is legislation really going to change the way people who are born with something that is simply a quirk of fate, though viewed as a deformity, will be perceived?
Yes, this is a positive stance to take, though given Germany’s stance on gay marriage (same sex rights are granted to an extent, but marriage is still not legal,) does make me question the real motives behind this new found need to protect those who find themselves to be different. I also feel that this is something that needs to be rolled out worldwide and quickly, though I do realise this may never happen. Given the amount of time it has taken for gay marriage to be legalised in Britain, which still hasn’t been fully implemented, I cannot see us jumping on the band wagon anytime soon. Unfortunately equality for any minority still seems a long way off.