12-04-2016

Civil status heading towards a “third sex”?


The National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) is treating the case for intersexual individuals. At the last CCNE technical committee, the decision to publish a notice by the end of the year on the situation of intersexual individuals who demand the right to be declared neither male nor female for their civil status was ratified on March 10. This request specifically concerns individuals born with both male and female genitalia.

This notice will only be for consultation but authorities may then rely on it to define their policy on the subject, which could lead toward recognition of a “third sex”. Debates have already taken place in France, in particular a judgment by the court of Tours recognizing the right for an individual to benefit from the mention “neutral sex” on the registry office for the first time. The Orléans Court of Appeal overturned this verdict this year on March 22. The General Prosecutor’s Office appealed, considering that French law in no way provides the possibility of bearing the distinction “neutral sex” on a civil status record.

For Vincent Guillot, founding member of Organization Intersex International (OII), “the issue of a sort of “third sex”, “third gender”, neutral sex or gender do not originate from intersex associations. The only request regarding this matter is to aim at abolishing the mention of sex and gender on civil status and administrative documents for all citizens.”