Germany should legalise trans people accessing female-only spaces, says MP

Sven Lehmann Germany LGBT+ transgender issues law - Christoph Soeder/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Sven Lehmann Germany LGBT+ transgender issues law - Christoph Soeder/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Germany’s top official on LGBT issues has criticised a draft trans law, saying it should go further in allowing trans people to access female-only spaces.

Sven Lehmann, the country’s commissioner for the acceptance of sexual and gender diversity, said that the law would send a “fatal signal” that trans people pose a threat to women.

Germany’s national trans association also said that aspects of the law would “increase the risk of discrimination and exclusion”.

The draft law, which is still to be debated in the Bundestag, will allow people to change their sex by filling out a form at a public office.

Central to the bill is a plan to abolish the requirement that people go through psychological assessment before they can officially change their sex.

Activists protest draft legislation

While that has been welcomed by trans groups, they have taken issue with a clause that reaffirms a business’ right to turn people away.

The German government is thought to have included the clause out of concerns women would not feel safe in spaces, such as saunas and changing rooms, that barred men.

However, trans activists said that the clause should be deleted from the legislation.

In a letter to the country’s justice ministry, Mr Lehmann said that it sends out a “fatal signal... that transgender people (and especially transgender women) are a threat from which cisgender women must be protected”.

Adding an exemption is ‘wrong’

Mr Lehmann, a member of the German Greens party, also urged the government to go further with its plan to fine people from using the former names of trans people in public.

The draft law foresees fines of up to €2,500 (£2,148) for use of a trans person’s “dead name” but includes exemptions for family members.

However, Mr Lehmann said it was “wrong” to include an exemption, arguing that family members could use the outing of a trans person “as a threat”.

The national trans association voiced various criticisms of the law, including a call for people aged 14 and above to be able to change the sex by deed poll without parental consent.

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