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Steve Weatherbe


German court refuses woman’s request to register gender as ‘intersex’

Steve Weatherbe

GERMANY, August 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — A 27-year-old German registered at birth as female has had an application to be registered as “intersex” rejected by the German Federal Court of Justice.

“Vanja,” as she is known in court documents, appears and lives as a female but does not identify with either gender because of a genetic defect. While males have an X and a Y chromosome and females have two X chromosomes, Vanja has only one X chromosome. This is called Turner syndrome and affects one in 2,500 girls, usually meaning their ovaries do not develop and therefore do not produce the female hormones that give women their feminine physical appearance.

The court rejected Vanja’s application to have her birth registration show her as “intersex” because German law only recognizes male and female as possible answers to the birth registration query about gender.

However, since 2013 Germany has allowed the parents of intersex individuals to leave the gender question blank. Therefore, reasoned the federal court, the question of whether the requirements for birth registration “violated intersexuals’ fundamental rights no longer arises.”

Vanja disagreed, telling the court, “For intersex people, a third sex would finally record, after decades of denial and invisibility, the recognition of their existence.” She plans to appeal, with the help of the Third Option advocacy group.

The British Daily Mail followed its coverage of the court case with an extensive explanation of Androgen insensitivity syndrome, which Vanja did not have. While those with Turner syndrome are always females with incomplete female development, those with AIS are genetic males whose body rejects androgen, the hormone that develops male characteristics in puberty. Because males produce both male and female hormones, AIS males, without androgen, develop with a female appearance.

So-called intersex individuals differ from so-called transgenders, who biologically are completely and unambiguously male or female but who identify psychologically with the opposite gender. Intersex individuals are biologically ambiguous.

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