Volker Beck.jpg
Volker Beck
Photograph: Photo by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, used under CC BY-SA

A German opposition party is putting forward a draft law that would make it easier for transsexuals to change their gender and name in official documents, Green Party lawmaker Volker Beck told dpa Thursday.

Currently, transgender people in Germany are subjected to questioning by two experts in a process that can take up to nine months before they are able to change their status.

The draft law that the Greens aim to put forward in the Bundestag parliament in the coming months aims to do away with this "humiliating diagnostic procedure," Beck said.

"Gender identity is not something you can diagnose," Beck said. "We want to significantly simplify the process of changing one's first name and gender, making it dependent only on how the person perceives their own gender."

The current law requires people to be clearly identifiable in the gender they have chosen for a period of three years before they are able to change their status, which Beck described as a "big challenge" for transgender people.

In 2013, Germany became the first country in Europe to introduce a third, "indeterminate" gender designation on birth certificates, allowing those born with characteristics of both sexes to choose whether to become male or female in later life.

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