- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Germany’s constitutional court has given the country’s parliament until Dec. 31, 2018, to pass legislation authorizing “intersex” birth certificates, the BBC reported Wednesday.

The ruling comes after an intersex individual marked as female on their birth certificate brought a lawsuit over the matter. A DNA test conducted on the individual established that they were neither genetically male nor female. 

“Humans are born with 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. The X and Y chromosomes determine a person’s sex. Most women are 46XX and most men are 46XY,” according to the website for the World Health Organization Genomic Resource Centre.

“Research suggests, however, that in a few births per thousand some individuals will be born with a single sex chromosome (45X or 45Y) (sex monosomies) and some with three or more sex chromosomes (47XXX, 47XYY or 47XXY, etc.) (sex polysomies),” the WHO explained, adding that other intersex cases involve 46XY individuals being born female due to a mutation on the Y-chromosome.

The WHO defines “intersex” as “a congenital anomaly of the reproductive and sexual system” and notes that “an estimate about the birth prevalence of intersex is difficult to make because there are no concrete parameters to the definition of intersex.”

Prior to Wednesday’s ruling, the only option on German birth certificates besides marking the baby’s gender male or female was to leave the space blank, the BBC said. 

Germany will join Australia, India, New Zealand, Nepal and the United States in issuing intersex birth certificates, the BBC said.

Most birth certificates in the U.S. are issued by the states, with New York becoming the first in late December to issue an intersex birth certificate, NBC News reported at the time. 

The term intersex is not to be confused with transgender, which is a matter of personal gender expression, not genetic makeup.

A number of foreign countries and most U.S. states will alter birth certificates upon request from transgender individuals to reflect their preferred gender expression, with only Idaho, Kansas, Ohio and Tennessee refusing to do so, according to the LGBT rights group Lamda Legal.

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