Column from Germany: Gender proposal should be point of prayer for Christians
The German parliament, the Bundestag, will soon vote on a bill that the majority of the coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals promised as an important project during their election campaign: It should be made much easier for trans persons to change their gender entry in official documents.
For more than 40 years, it has been the case in Germany that in order to change one's gender entry, one needs two expert opinions from medical specialists and a confirmation from a judge. Those affected (there are few) and the strong LGTB lobby find this discriminatory.
In individual cases this is certainly understandable. But with the planned solution, it will now be extremely easy to legally change something that, according to biblical testimony, is intended by God.
Parliament has not yet amended the law, but according to the government's draft, this is planned: In future, adults in Germany will be able to go to the registry office and request a change of gender and a corresponding new first name with a simple form and their signature. They will then have to wait 3 months, a so-called reflection period, after which their birth certificate and identity card will be officially changed.
They can also request a change from all other offices where their name or gender is registered, for example, from their school to change all report cards to the new first name. Trans people are then bound by this decision for one year – only. After that, they are allowed to repeat or reverse the process.
For children under 14 years of age, the parents alone are to be allowed to decide on the determination of gender at birth and later on a change – even an older child is not to be given any rights of participation and no official persons are to be allowed to check or influence this. And because there is to be a general ban on speaking about this process of gender change (and the past with a different first name and a different official gender), anyone who mentions or discusses the process of gender change faces a fine of up to 10,000 euros.
Young people between the ages of 14 and the legal age of 18 years in Germany should be able to apply for gender reassignment with the consent of their parents – or, if the parents do not approve, have a competent court decide in their favour.
This bill, which the government has now brought to the Bundestag for discussion and resolution, has provoked opposition of astonishing breadth. Both left-wing feminists and conservative Christians, but above all doctors and psychiatrists have voiced opposition.
The Christian Democratic CDU/CSU opposition warns that the law "opens the door to abuse". For example, the Justice Minister of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Marion Gentges (CDU), is convinced of that. Every case of abuse harms those affected more than the law benefits them. In addition, she criticises the lack of protective mechanisms for young children. "The law leaves parents to decide on their own without qualified counselling or judicial review".
Even from within the Social Democratic Party, which is in government in Berlin, the Justice Minister of Lower Saxony, Kathrin Wahlmann, has publicly criticised the proposal.
Since the desire for gender change has increased dramatically in recent years, especially among young girls, feminists like Alice Schwarzer criticise that this would counteract the achievements of their movement. Instead of supporting female adolescents in puberty to become strong women, they are offered a bogus solution of gender conversion.
“Being „trans” is fashionable – and at the same time the biggest provocation. That's what makes it so attractive to young people,” Schwarzer recently told the news magazine Der Spiegel. Rather, she thinks a law with an age limit of would make sense, stipulating that the person should seek independent counselling. “Not least so that people themselves also get a chance to become aware of their true motives.”
Medical experts point out that young people often feel insecure about their bodies, especially during puberty, but that this normalises again a few years later. Therefore, teens should not be encouraged to take such far-reaching steps in this phase of life.
Despite the diversity, however, the overall protest is very small – the majority of the population is not interested in the issue. It will therefore be interesting –and a prayer request for Christians– how the debate and ultimately the vote in parliament will turn out in the coming months!
About the author
Wolfgang Stock was born in 1959 in Hanover, West Germany, as the child of refugees from the Eastern GDR. He studied history and international politics in Würzburg and Oxford, where he also received his doctorate. He is a board member of the German Evangelical Alliance. He worked as a journalist for many years, wrote several political books, including the first biography of Angela Merkel in 2000. He lives in Karlsruhe with his wife. They have five grown-up children and four grandchildren.
Column from Germany – Suffering from the heat is our own fault
Column from Germany: It might become legal to choose time of your own death