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Transsexual lawmaker calls German law ‘degrading,’ demands abolition

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The first openly transsexual parliamentarian in Germany has called for the abolition of the country’s nearly 40-year-old law on transsexuals.

The law is degrading and does not regard trans people as full and responsible citizens, Tessa Ganserer of the Green Party told dpa in the southern city of Munich.

“I think no one, no state, and certainly no judge has the right to decide on the gender of another person,” Ganserer said.

Transsexual and intersex people do not feel that they belong to their biological gender.

It is difficult to say how many trans people live in Germany as there are no official figures, but the last government estimate from 2011 is that there are more than 7,000.

The German Society for Trans-identity and Intersexuality estimates the number of transsexual or intersex people in Germany at between 210,000 and 500,000, corresponding to around 0.3-0.6 per cent of the population.

The transsexual law of 1981 regulates the conditions under which Germans can officially change their first name and their gender.

The law is considered to be urgently in need of an overhaul: the Federal Constitutional Court has repeatedly declared the regulations unconstitutional.

The Berlin government tried to reform the law last summer, but following massive criticism of its draft, it is no longer clear how it plans to proceed.

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