No to „Self-ID“ Law!
What is the issue?
The German government plans to replace the current Transsexuals Act (TSG), which regulates changes of the registered sex within civil records. Up to now, such a change requires a process involving expert reports and certain steps. What is planned, however, is that the TSG will not only be reformed, but repealed. Instead, a new law is supposed to be introduced that allows the change of the registered sex not only for a minority, but for all people, without any prerequisites or objectifiable criteria. So far, the framework is available for this bill, which was presented on 30/06/22.1
The new law is called the „Self-Determination Act“ [„Selbstbestimmungsgesetz“] – but more correct is the term „Self-Identification“, in short „Self-ID“, because that is the core of the planned law. Any person over the age of 18 will be allowed to change their registered sex by submitting a simple declaration to the Registry Office. The legal category „sex“ will no longer to be based on the unchangeable biological sex, but rather on a person’s self-declaration of having a certain „gender identity“. Furthermore, the framework proposes that the registered sex can be changed on an annual basis. In addition, addressing a person with the previously recorded sex, pronoun or name is planned to be punishable by a fine. Even in the case of children, it would be possible to change the registered sex at the request of the parents. Teenagers over the age of 14 would be allowed to legally obtain this against their parents‘ will in court. There are no plans to introduce a legal requirement for exploratory or objective/neutral support for these minors before they can change their registered sex.
What are the implications?
The terms „woman“ and „man“, which are based on the categories of biological sex, would become meaningless without this objectifiable basis. A freely selectable, subjective „gender identity“ would become the point of reference for all other laws and social spheres to which sex is relevant – such as all family, social, and labor law. Men could demand to be legally and socially treated ‚as women‘ – and women would no longer be allowed to resist.
What are the consequences?
In Germany, the number of young people who want to change their sex is growing rapidly: the vast majority of them are girls. Self-ID regulation increases the likelihood that they will have irreversible medical procedures (testosterone, mastectomy, removal of ovaries and uterus, genital surgeries) carried out on them that are prone to complications. Puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries are not a treatment for mental suffering related to the female body. They effectively turn distressed young women with healthy bodies into lifelong patients who subsequently suffer the irreversible consequences of medical interventions. These medical procedures on minors are currently allowed and are performed. When women and girls suffer because their individuality and sexuality do not fit into any particular box, it is not their female body that needs changing. What needs changing are the harmful beauty standards and the pressure to conform, both of which are the result of a pharmaceutical industry and a technological „can-do“ that drives young women into depression, anxiety and eating disorders – and increasingly, in their misery, to biased doctors and counseling centers via the anchor of an identification as „trans“ and „nonbinary“.
If, on the other hand, men can legally declare themselves to be women via self-identification, women once again lose the right to privacy, safety, fairness, and the right to claim their rights as women.
Under this law, any man who declares that he identifies as a woman would be legally granted access to women’s spaces. He would be entitled to women’s parliamentary list seats, participation in women’s empowerment and equality programs, and recognition as a woman among women. If women are forced to treat all men who claim to identify as women as women, they lose their right to expel them from sheltered, autonomous, political, cultural, or social women’s and lesbian spaces.
International experience clearly show the consequences for women and girls that result when the concept of „gender identity“ outweighs the category of biological sex, and when men and boys use this for their own benefit:
- Girls and women cannot get changed and shower without men – or without worrying about men: Not at sports, not at the spa, not at the swimming pool. Women’s restrooms are open to any man who claims to identify as a woman. In schools and sports clubs, girls must get changed next to boys and share rooms with them in youth hostels and school camps if they claim to identify as girls.
- (Sex) offenders have themselves transferred to women’s prisons and commit sex offenses there again.
- Women who are forced to flee from domestic violence into a women’s shelter must share their space with men and have no right to resist.
- Girls and women no longer have the choice of whether and when to interact with boys and men in groups.
- Men who claim to identify as women compete against women in sports, win titles and awards, break women’s records, receive sports sponsorships, and endanger the health of their female opponents in contact sports.
- Lesbians, woman-loving women, are coerced into accepting men as potential sexual partners or members of lesbian networks.
- Criminal prosecution is made more difficult if (male) offenders have obtained erasure of their old data by changing their registered sex.
- The evaluation of equality policies, quotas and goals in politics, business and the cultural sector is made more difficult because the group of women to be empowered cannot be clearly defined.
- Statistics relevant to women are skewed or distorted, for example, in relation to sex-specific medical care, unequal pay, violence against women, and the general statistics on violence and crime (for example, when rapists are recorded as women).
- The biological sex must be preserved as a legal category. For reasons of legal clarity and to protect sex-based rights, the current legal classification of sex (m,w,d) must not be replaced or supplemented by the concept of „gender identity“, either in the German Constitution or in other laws and administrative regulations.
- Parents, medical professionals and therapists must have the right and the duty to support minors in an exploratory and objective/neutral manner.
- The right of women to refer to a man as a man regardless of his self-identification must not be considered hate speech, a misdemeanor, or even a felony.
- Women’s and equality policy must not be eroded by a concept of sex („gender“) that cannot be objectified. This requires that, in addition to maintaining and expanding financial funding, statistics remain meaningful in terms of biological sex and that it will be ensured that women’s quota positions are filled only by women.
- Women have the right to expel men from their spaces: This right must be guaranteed for lesbian and women’s spaces, for women’s safe spaces, and also with regard to freedom of assembly for and by women.
- We demand a public debate of all political plans that will have an impact on the rights of women and girls. We demand a serious assessment of the legal consequences with regard to the disadvantage and endangerment of women and girls, which we anticipate will result from the planned law.
We call on the federal government and all parliamentarians to protect girls, to stand up for women’s rights and thus to reject the so-called „Self-Determination Act“ [„Selbstbestimmungsgesetz“].
Arbeitskreis „Geschlechtsbasierte Rechte der Frau“, Detrans, Fairplay für Frauen, Orga des Lesbenfrühlingstreffens LFT2021 Bremen, Women‘s Declaration International/WDI Deutschland
Europäische Gesellschaft für Geschlechtergerechtigkeit e.V.i.G., Feministische Partei DIE FRAUEN, Fraueninitiative 04 e.V., Frauen- und Kinderhaus e.V. Uelzen, KOFRA Verein (Kommunikationszentrum für Frauen zur Arbeits- und Lebenssituation e.V.) München, Initiative Geschlecht zählt, Initiative „Lasst Frauen sprechen!“, Radfem Berlin, Radfem Bremen-Bremerhaven, Radfem Kollektiv Berlin, radfem ffm, Radfem Munich, Radfem Kollektiv Darmstadt, SAFIA e.V. – Lesben gestalten ihr Alter, SISTERS – für den Ausstieg aus der Prostitution! e.V., Die Störenfriedas, TERRE DES FEMMES Städtegruppe Berlin, TERRE DES FEMMES Städtegruppe Bremen, TERRE DES FEMMES Städtegruppe Dortmund, TERRE DES FEMMES Städtegruppe Hamburg, TERRE DES FEMMES Städtegruppe Stade
In November 2022