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Sex change to become easier in Switzerland 

Transgender and intersex people will no longer face long administrative and judicial procedures to change their sex in the civil register. © Keystone / Peter Schneider

Transgender and intersex people will be able to change their name and sex more easily in the official civil register following moves by the Swiss parliament.  

This content was published on December 16, 2020 - 16:59
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On Wednesday, the House of Representatives eliminated its last difference with the Senate to make this possible.  

In future, transgender and intersex people will be able to change their name and sex in the civil register without bureaucratic complications. There will no longer be any medical examinations or other prerequisites. 

Every year, about 40 children are born with indeterminate sex at birth. However, the law currently requires that they must be registered within three days with their sex and first name, which can only be changed later through an administrative or judicial procedure. 

At the same time, there are several hundred transgender people in Switzerland. Between 100 and 200 people have undergone or are considering an operation to change their sex.  

The last point of contention between the two houses of parliament on this bill was over parental consent for sex change. But on Wednesday the House of Representatives aligned itself with the Senate, voting that only minors over the age of 16 will be able to change sex without the consent of their legal representative. 

Left-wing parties, which wanted parental consent waived for all minors, rallied reluctantly to this position. Green parliamentarian Nicolas Walder said that although imperfect, this was a significant step forward. Social Democrat Baptiste Hurni stressed that the sense of the bill had been maintained and that few young people under the age of 16 wish to change sex.  


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