The Swiss Government has rejected the idea of an additional, third gender option for official records. The government in Switzerland continues to disregard non-binary identities.
Switzerland has made some progress regarding LGBTQ+ rights in the past years. In 2021, they finally legalised same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption. Almost two thirds (64.1%) voted in favour of it. Switzerland is one of the last countries in Western Europe to legalise gay marriage. The voting results demonstrate that the majority of Swiss citizens have been waiting for this change to happen.
Switzerland Rejects Non-Binary Identities
In December of last year, the government of Switzerland announced that it rejected the idea of introducing a third gender option for official records. This third gender or no-gender option would allow non-binary and gender diverse people to have a different gender marker. Therefore, official documents will continue to only have two gender options: male and female.
The Federal Council stated that the ‘binary gender model is still strongly anchored in Swiss society’. Their excuse remained that Switzerland is simply not there yet regarding the acknowledgement of all trans identities, including non-binary people. The Swiss Constitution and its laws require ‘numerous changes’ before they can fully include non-binary people.
Simply stating that an entire country is not ready for the progression of trans rights silences and erases the existence of all Swiss non-binary people. Unlike its neighbouring countries Germany and Austria, people in Switzerland are currently registered as either male or female in the civil registry.
Government in Switzerland Disregards Non-Binary People’s Existence
The Swiss Government’s persistence on keeping official records as binary as possible is a complete disregard for all non-binary identities. Non-binary people exist. Debating over their existence is not only ridiculous but also harmful. By rejecting the idea of a third gender option, the government of Switzerland reinforces the notion that people are either men or women. It invalidates whoever identifies as anything other than male or female.
The Western creation of the gender binary harms all trans people. Binary trans people have to adhere to social norms of masculinity and femininity, whereas non-binary trans people’s existence is invalidated and debated on. Switzerland needs to do better and acknowledge non-binary identities on official records.
Non-Binary People Exist and They Are Not Going Anywhere!
The Swiss Government may erase non-binary people on their records, but they cannot erase their existence. It is time to debunk Switzerland’s false reputation as a seemingly ‘neutral’ country. The Swiss Government needs to be held accountable for its bigotry and involvement in LGBTQ+ oppression. We hope that the government in Switzerland changes its legislation to include non-binary people on official records.