Beginning in the new year, people in Switzerland will be able to legally change their gender with only a visit to the civil registry office.
The Swiss parliament passed amendments in 2020 to the civil code and the civil status ordinance that would allow people to change their first name and their gender quickly and without heavy bureaucratic burdens. The change can be made by anyone who is firmly convinced that they do not belong to the gender that is already entered in the civil status register. Persons under the age of 16 or who are otherwise under guardianship would need the permission of their legal guardian. The announcement of the implementation of these amendments came Sunday.
The change of gender status does not affect existing family relationships, such as marriage or registered partnership. Only male or female gender may be entered, not a third gender or no gender status. However, the Federal Council is working on a report regarding the possibility of creating a third gender category or doing away with a registry entry for gender altogether.
The Federal Council, meeting in October, decided that the amendments will enter into force on January 1, 2022. Earlier this month, New Zealand also passed a law allowing citizens to amend the gender identity on their birth certificates.