The Swiss government has rejected a proposal to introduce a third-gender or no-gender option for official records, the Associated Press reports.
In response to two parliamentary proposals, the Federal Council stated that “the binary gender model is still strongly anchored in Swiss society.”
“The social preconditions for the introduction of a third gender or for a general waiver of the gender entry in the civil registry currently are not there,” said the council.
Adding such options would require “numerous” changes to the Swiss Constitution and to both national and state laws. Switzerland has 26 cantons (states), and an unusual political structure in which all four parties, ranging from the nationalist right to the left are represented and referendums are held on a range of issues and must be approved by a majority of the cantons.
People in Switzerland are currently registered as either male or female and no other options are available. A national ethics commission in 2020 found that it was not an appropriate time for a change to that system.
The move sets Switzerland apart from its neighbors, with both Germany and Austria already options outside of male and female available to their citizens.
According to the Associated Press, the German government approved a third gender option in 2018 which allows people to register as “diverse.” This decision followed a 2017 ruling by Germany’s highest court that people must be allowed to register as neither male nor female. The case had been brought by a person with a disorder of sexual development (DSD), more commonly referred to as “intersex.” People with DSDs are either male or female but due to chromosomal abnormalities have variations in the development of their reproductive systems.
Also in 2018, a federal court in Austria ruled that people must be allowed to register as a sex other than male or female if they so choose, but this required no change to existing laws.
Many nations around the world now allow citizens to register as neither male nor female on official documents as a result of trans activist groups pushing to replace the biological reality of sex with subjective gender identities.In 2019, a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal even awarded $50,000 to a “pangender” individual for the harm endured when not being able to apply for a passport that reflected the individual’s multiple, perhaps infinite, genders.
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