German parliament votes to make it easier for people to legally change their name and gender

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04/12/2024

German lawmakers on Friday approved legislation that will make it easier for transgender, intersex and nonbinary people to change their name and gender in official records. The “self-determination law,” one of several social reforms that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s liberal-leaning coalition government pledged when it took office in late 2021, is set to take effect on Nov. 1. Germany, the European Union’s most populous nation, follows several other countries in making the change. Parliament’s lower house, the Bundestag, approved it by 374 votes to 251 with 11 abstentions. The German legislation will allow adults to change their first name and legal gender at registry offices without further formalities. They will have to notify the office three months before making the change.

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