We need international Support

We need global Support for new German law v2.05We need global support for the new German Transgender law (German draft law 18/12179). We have only 10 days left in the current parliamentary session (Election September 2017).
Please sign here: openpetition (If you want,  can you get it – anonym)

„Selbstbetsimmungsgesetz (SelbstBestG) jetzt beschließen!“
Self-determination law now!  openPetition english Text

(FYI 22.6.2017  2 law Draft from Left-party Drucksache 18/12783)

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Selbstbestimmungsgesetz (SelbstBestG) jetzt beschließen!

Pass the self-determination bill into law…now!

Note: The English text deviates somewhat from the German text in that it contains more background information and (in the “Reasons” section) a substantial reordering of content. The German text is the authoritative version. The German original is by Dorothea Z., while the English elaboration is by Claire B.

Wir bitten die Abgeordneten des deutschen Bundestags den Gesetzentwurf des Selbstbestimmungsgesetzes (Bundestags-Drucksache 18/12179 – hier zu finden: dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/121/1812179.pdf) mit den Änderungen, die das trans-alliance Projekt und andere Gruppen vorschlagen haben und die hier aufgelistet sind, zu beschließen.

We are asking the members of the German federal parliament (Bundestag) to approve the draft self-determination bill (German: Bundestags-Drucksache 18/12179 – link: dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/18/121/1812179.pdf), subject to the amendments proposed by the trans alliance DE Project and other groups, as listed below.

Folgende Änderungen des Gesetzesentwurfs sind aus unserer Sicht noch nötig:

We strongly urge the Bundestag to adopt the following important amendments:

A. Name des Gesetzes … Geschlechtsidentität / Geschlecht (d.h. statt von Selbstbestimmung der Geschlechtsidentität sollte im Sinn der Stuttgarter Erklärung (die-erklaerung.de/) von Selbstbestimmung des Geschlechts gesprochen werden.)

A. Name of the law: … Gender identity / gender or sex … Instead of “self-determination of gender identity,” use “self determination of sex/gender (German: Geschlecht),” as in the Stuttgart Declaration (Original at http://die-erklaerung.de/, English translation at https://transallianceproject.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/stuttgart-translation-v10b.pdf).

The word “identity” has, for certain people in the community, negative connotations insofar as it represents a qualification on the word “Geschlecht” (meaning sex and/or gender). According to this argument, the formulation “Geschlecht” is clearer and less qualified than “Geschlechtsidentität.” If the law were to adopt “Geschlecht” as its terminology, it would lose no meaning.

Translator’s note: Where possible, I am using “sex/gender” to refer to the German word “Geschlecht,” which encompasses both “sex” and “gender” in their English-language meanings.

B. Bei §6 sollte der Satz hinzugefügt wird. „Dieses wird hiermit auch im SGB-V verankert.“

B. Add to §6 the sentence, “This will also be guaranteed by the SGB-V” (social code or welfare law). There is concern that insurance companies would see the legal recognition of sex or gender decoupled from medical transition, and would use this as a ground to deny medical care to transitioners. This amendment is meant to forestall that possibility, keeping in mind that specific improvements to the SGB will be the subject of another law.

C. Bei §1 (2) keine Geschlechtsangabe, „- auch ein alternativer „X“ Eintrag ist möglich -“ sollte eingefügt werden.

C. In §1 (2), in addition to enabling an empty sex/gender designation, add, “Also, it is possible to enter ‚X‘ as a designation.” So far, Germany has a limited option for an empty sex/gender designation (not determined) on the birth certificates of intersex babies. However, Germany does not offer this option for older intersex people or for transitioners. Additionally, an empty gender designation is not the same thing as a sex/gender designation other than M or F. To close these gaps, we support allowing M, F, X, and empty designations as options.

D. Hinsichtlich der Intersex-Genitalverstümmelungen (IGM) bei Babies, Kindern und Jugendlichen, bedarf eines ferner ggf. einen separten Beschluss wonach IGM verboten wird, wenn nicht lebensnotwendige Massnahmen dieses erfordern. Oder man setzt es einfach als klares Statement mit in den Beschlusstext.

D. With respect to intersex genital mutilation (IGM) for newborns, children, and adolescents, we advise adding a separate paragraph (or bill) to ban IGM in situations that are not life-threatening. At a minimum, we advise appending a clear condemnation of IGM to the text of the bill.

While IGM should be banned in Germany since it is nonconsensual and not necessary, we understand that it is a separate matter from changing one’s name and gender designation. If possible, we favor a more comprehensive law banning these practices.

E. Bei §2 (1) Die Forderung nach einer Bescheinigung für Jugendliche sollte nur empfohlen werden und keine Grundsatzforderung sein. D.h. ein Beratungszwang ist aus menschenrechtlicher Sicht abzulehnen.

E. Within §2 (1) … The requirement for young transitioners to obtain psychiatric approval for their transition should be changed into a non-binding recommendation to seek therapy. This is to avoid compelling young transitioners to participate in unwanted therapy, which is often meant to dissuade the person from transitioning or expressing “gender non-conforming” behaviors. Instead, we favor expansions in trans-affirming counseling opportunities for both young people and adults, with a focus on allowing people to live full, authentic lives.

Fragen zur Petition werde ich hier (t1p.de/sbstg) vertiefen und beantworten, damit ich den Text der Petition nach Veröffentlichung nicht mehr ändern muss.

At this site (t1p.de/sbstg) I [Dorothea] will answer any questions and make any elaborations, since once this petition is published, I cannot make any more changes.

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Reasons:

Transsexuelle, transidenten Menschen und viele, die sich als Transgender bezeichnen, wollen ihren Vornamen und den Personenstand ändern und viele brauchen medizinische Unterstützung während einer Geschlechtsangleichung und danach. Die salutogenetische Sichtweise, die man bei trans-evidence beschrieben findet, sollte dabei die bisherige psychopathologische Sicht transsexueller Menschen ablösen (s. unten). Es braucht ein „Shared Decision Making“, zu deutsch etwas ungenau übersetzt mit „partizipative Entscheidungsfindung“ (Quelle: http://www.trans-health.info/2016/12/mogelpackungen.html). Derzeit gibt es dabei aber viele Schwierigkeiten. Das Transsexuellengesetz (TSG) ist seit seinem Inkrafttreten am 1. Januar 1981 nicht mehr grundlegend reformiert worden, währenddessen mehrere Regelungen des TSG bereits für verfassungswidrig erklärt worden sind. Alle wesentlichen Fragen einer Reform sind durch mehrere, umfangreiche Gutachten die von der Regierung beauftragt wurden, geklärt (vgl. aufwind2012.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/ein-vernichtendes-urteil-ueber-die-gegenwaertige-alltagspraxis-des-tsg/).

Those who transition their sex or gender (hereafter “transitioners,” whether they identify with the terms “transsexual”, “trans-identified”, “trans”, “trans*”, “transgender”, “genderqueer”, “non-binary”, some other term, or no term at all) often want to change their legal name or sex/gender designation to match their inner identities, i.e., to match who they are. Additionally, many transitioners require medical support during their transitions and thereafter. If one were to view these needs through a “salutogenetic” (health-based) social model, this would overturn a standard set of recommendations based on a “psychopathological” (disease-based) model.

The psychopathological model sees the desire to transition as a pathology to be discouraged or—if transition is not successfully discouraged—as an evil to be mitigated. This model underlies past efforts to “cure” transitioners through coercive means, including but not limited to withholding medical care, mandating unnecessary or injurious medical care, erecting unnecessary “gatekeeping” measures, or simply not recognizing transitioners‘ identities. This is the model underlying the German “Law Concerning the Change of First Names and the Settlement of Gender Designations in Special Cases” (colloquially, Transsexuellengesetz – TSG), which went into force on January 1, 1981. Since 1981, the German Constitutional Court has held multiple portions of the TSG to be unconstitutional. In spite of these facts, the TSG has never been reformed.

For instance, the Constitutional Court has already stricken the requirements that transitioners be sterilized and unmarried (or divorced, if already married), along with limitations on the ability to later enter into a marriage or domestic partnership. The Constitutional Court has also stricken the requirement that transitioners be over 25 years of age. Nonetheless, these clauses remain in the text of the law, leading to confusion. Other major sticking points with the TSG include discrimination against non-Germans and younger transitioners, a ban against having children, the bureaucratic and financial costs imposed on transitioners, references to having an appearance of the “other sex”, the arbitrary insertion of medical gatekeeping into a non-medical situation, and the role played by this gatekeeping system in maintaining a strict, binary, stereotypical view of sex and gender, at odds with lived experience.

To bring the legal and situation into line with lived experience requires a different approach, one based on “shared decision making” or self-determination (German source: www.trans-health.info/2016/12/mogelpackungen.html). (This is the legal analogue of the “informed consent” medical model.) The main reform proposals have already been discussed by the author of the petition (German source: aufwind2012.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/ein-vernichtendes-urteil-ueber-die-gegenwaertige-alltagspraxis-des-tsg/.) Notably, this model underlies all major reform proposals, whether from the DGTI, the Humboldt University, or the current proposal.

Der Bundesrat hat am 2.6.2017 (vgl.: http://www.bundesrat.de/SharedDocs/drucksachen/2017/0301-0400/362-17%28B%29.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=1) den Bundestag aufgefordert, „unverzüglich das TSG in Übereinstimmung mit den Ergebnissen der Gutachten“ aufzuheben und „durch ein entsprechendes modernes Gesetz zur Anerkennung“ des Geschlechts zu ersetzen. „Dabei ist insbesondere die teure und unnötige Begutachtungspflicht vor einer Vornamens- beziehungsweise Personenstandsänderung sofort abzuschaffen und durch ein Verwaltungsverfahren zur Anerkennung“ des Geschlechts zu ersetzen.

When debating the current proposal, the German Federal Senate (Bundesrat) urged, on June 2, 2017 (German source: www.bundesrat.de/SharedDocs/drucksachen/2017/0301-0400/362-17%28B%29.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=1), to immediately repeal the TSG, in line with expert reports, and to replace it with a modern law on sex/gender recognition. The Senate stated that it is especially important to repeal the expensive and unnecessary requirement to obtain a set of medical opinions in order to update one’s legal name or gender marker, and to replace this process with a simple administrative process.

Auch aus neurowissenschaftlicher Perspektive ist eine Änderung des Transsexuellengesetzes und der Leitlinien des MdK, das noch auf psychopathologisierenden Vorstellungen von Transsexualität beruhen, ein Gebot der Stunde (vgl. http://www.uni-frankfurt.de/55900763/1home und http://www.uni-frankfurt.de/55900820/21_inhalt. „Es bedarf bei transsexuellen Menschen medizinischer Interventionen, um Leid zu vermindern. Da Gesundheit und Krankheit nicht eng assoziiert sind (s.o.), bedeutet die Verminderung des Leids nicht automatisch die Entfaltung von Gesundheitspotenzialen, zumal unter transfeindlichen, transphoben gesellschaftlichen Bedingungen.“ (Quelle: trans-evidence.com/wilkommen/salutogenesis-panel/)

While the draft law does not dive deep into the medical situation faced by transitioners, this situation is also in need of reform. This is because, as with the TSG, the MDK (association of health insurance providers), still adheres to the psychopathological model. For instance, the MDK standards of care state that medical intervention for transsexual people is warranted in order to reduce pain—this is a (court-ordered) implication of the MDK’s mandate to treat sickness or pain rather than promote health. In practice, this means that the MDK has laid out establishing sickness or pain as one of the preconditions to medically transition—without such an establishment, one is not allowed to medically transition. However, even if a transitioner were to establish that they experienced a suitably large amount of pain, one must still go through a long, painful, arbitrary gatekeeping process, after which access to medical transition is still not guaranteed. This entire process has the end effect of maximizing the amount of pain felt by transitioners.

Because health is not just the absence of sickness (or of pain), the eventual reduction of sickness does not automatically lead to realizing the potential for good health. This is especially a problem under transphobic social conditions, which to combat, would require a more proactive approach. The current approach to medical transition in Germany and elsewhere needs to be reformulated.

(German sources: http://www.uni-frankfurt.de/55900763/1home and www.uni-frankfurt.de/55900820/21_inhalt, trans-evidence.com/wilkommen/salutogenesis-panel/.)

Der Gesetzentwurf der Grünen enthält gegenüber dem bisherigen Transsexuellengesetz viele gute Gedanken, allerdings gab es in der Community auch Kritik an diesem Entwurf und Änderungsvorschläge. Diese wurden vom trans-alliance Projekt zusammengefasst: transallianceproject.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/geschlechtliche-vielfalt/

The draft bill put forward by the Green Party contains many good proposals, that represent concrete improvements over the previous TSG. Still, there are, within the community, a number of critiques and proposed amendments that should be taken into account. These have been collected by the Trans Alliance project here (German source: https://transallianceproject.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/geschlechtliche-vielfalt/.)

Als Theologin sehe ich die Vielfalt von Gottes Schöpfung als Geschenk. Jeder Mensch ist Gottes Ebenbild. Jedem gilt das, was die Stuttgarter Erklärung formulierte: „Nur der einzelne Mensch kann auf Grund seines Wissens über sich selbst über sein eigenes Geschlecht, seine Geschlechtszugehörigkeit, verlässlich Auskunft geben. Allein ihm obliegt es, sein Geschlecht zu bestimmen. Das Geschlecht und die Anerkennung desselben gehören zum Intimbereich und sind zentraler Bestandteil des Menschen, seines Selbstverständnisses und seiner Würde.“ Kein Mensch darf sich anmaßen zu beurteilen, wie Gott als Schöpfer sich einen anderen Menschen gedacht hat. Darum hoffe ich nun auf eine entsprechende Neufassung des Transsexuellenrechts und bitte um ihre Unterstützung dabei.

As a theologian, I see the diversity of God’s creation as a gift. Every person is made in God’s image. This is reflected in the words of the Stuttgart Declaration, “Only an individual person may themselves determine their own sex (or gender), based on what they know about themselves. This is their right, and their right alone. The determination and recognition of sex (or gender) are part of one’s private life, and they are a central part of one’s personhood, self-understanding, and dignity.” Nobody else has the authority to say what God, as the creator of another person, truly meant. As such, I am hoping for a suitable reformulation of the law concerning transitioners, and I am asking for your support.

Translator’s note: As a social scientist and as a human, I also see diversity as a gift, because this diversity makes it possible to learn from one another, and to expand the range of what is possible. Every person is created equal, and has the equal right to determine for themselves what their sex or gender is, through their own lived experience, and theirs alone. Nobody else has the authority to prescribe the lived experience of others, or to force people to live in ways that contradict this lived experience. This would mean that some people are more equal than others. Therefore, every gender deserves respect.

As such, I am also hoping for a suitable reformulation of the law concerning transitioners, and I am also asking for your support.

In the name of all signers.

Mühlhausen, 10 Juni 2017 (aktiv bis 09 Dec 2017); Seattle, 18 June 2017.

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We need global Support for new German law v2.05

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