Identity cards issued in the Netherlands will no longer contain gender information. The corresponding category will no longer exist "from 2024/2025," wrote Education and Culture Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven in a letter to Parliament. The aim is to "limit the unnecessary registration of the gender where possible". People should "create their own identity and live in full freedom and security," said the minister.
However, gender should still be stated on Dutch passports. This requires guidelines from the European Union. Van Engelshoven emphasized that the Netherlands was not the first country to have gender-neutral ID. The gender is not mentioned in the German identity cards either.
The Dutch associations for the protection of the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and intersexuals (LGBTI) support the project. "This is excellent news for people who experience problems every day because of such categories in their IDs," they said in a joint statement.
The majority advocate recognition of non-binary gender identities
Van Engelshoven's announcement is a result of liberal Dutch LGBTI policies. In 2018, the so-called third gender is possible as an option in the ID cards to depict people who do not identify as either men or women.
A majority of the population supported the decision: as the Eurobarometer 2019 showed, 82 percent of the Dutch support that official documents should recognize the sexual identification of trans people. In Germany, 70 percent of those surveyed said they think the same way. The value was higher only in Spain and Malta with 83 percent each, the EU average was 59 percent.
In general, according to the same survey, 97 percent of Dutch people believe that homosexuals should have the same rights as heterosexuals. Only in Sweden was it 98 percent more, in Germany the approval rate was 88 percent. On average across the EU, 76 percent of respondents thought so.
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