A transgender self-identification law has been blocked at the last minute in Germany over fears it will be abused by criminals trying to escape punishment.
The country’s “transsexual law” was set to be replaced by a progressive “self-determination law” which would make changing gender a civil procedure, removing the requirement for a medical diagnosis, similar to the law in Scotland. Under current laws, trans people must have their new gender recognised by a court and provide two testaments.
The SPD-led interior ministry as well as law enforcement bodies raised concerns that criminals could use the law to escape prosecution.
“Important information like criminal records, outstanding arrest warrants and weapons licences need to be recognizable to prosecutors in databases after changing name and gender,” Dirk Peglow, chair of the Alliance of German Legal Civil Servants, told the German news magazine Der Spiegel.
The German association of sauna managers also voiced concern over the new law, forcing the government to assure saunas they could enforce their own entry policies.
Ferda Ataman, the anti-discrimination commissioner, has accused the government of bowing down to Right-wing populism with the delay after it put the brakes on the reform.