Germany Allows Legally 'Third' GenderWorld | November 1, 2013, Friday // 14:07| views
The move is aimed at removing pressure on parents to make quick decisions on sex assignment surgery for newborns. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Germany has become Europe's first country to allow babies with characteristics of both sexes to be registered as neither male nor female.
Parents are now allowed to leave the gender blank on birth certificates, in effect creating a new category of "indeterminate sex".
The move is aimed at removing pressure on parents to make quick decisions on sex assignment surgery for newborns.
As many as one in 2,000 people have characteristics of both sexes.
They are known as "intersex" people because they have a mixture of male and female chromosomes or even genitalia which have characteristics of both genders.
German passports, which currently list the holder's sex as M for male or F for female, will have a third designation, X, for intersex holders, according to the interior ministry.
It remains unclear what impact the change will have on marriage and partnership laws in Germany.
Current laws define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and civil partnerships are reserved for same-sex couples.
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