In November, the Federal Constitutional Court decided that people must be allowed to be entered in records as neither male nor female, ordering authorities either to create a third identity or scrap gender entries altogether.
It ruled on a case in which a plaintiff sought unsuccessfully to have their entry in the birth register changed from "female" to "inter/diverse" or "diverse." Until now, the only other option was to leave the gender blank.
During a three-year legal battle, the plaintiff provided a genetic analysis showing one X chromosome but no second sex chromosome. Women have two X chromosomes, while men have one X and one Y chromosome. The top court found that authorities could decide to do without any gender identity in civil registers or allow people in a similar situation to choose "another positive designation of their sex that is not male or female."
Wednesday's Cabinet decision to add a third gender option, "diverse," to the register of births requires parliamentary approval.
The center-left minister for families in Germany's conservative-led coalition government, Franziska Giffey, said it is "an important step toward the legal recognition of people whose gender identity is neither male nor female."
However, advocacy groups and some opposition politicians said it didn't go far enough.
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