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German railway company must offer third gender option for tickets

Frankfurt am Main - The Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt am Main has obliged Deutsche Bahn to offer customers a third gender option when buying tickets. The court ruled that the company should not require people who do not identify themselves or not only as a man or woman to choose between the two classic gender categories.

The reason for the decision was a lawsuit filed by a woman who describes herself as "non-binary". The gender entry on her birth certificate reads "unspecified". The customer felt discriminated against when buying a BahnCard because she had to choose between male and female categories on the form.

Frankfurt district court recommends renouncing man-woman salutation
She therefore demanded injunctive relief and compensation from Deutsche Bahn. In August, a district court decided on the case. This ruled that the online form when purchasing the Bahncard constituted discrimination within the meaning of the General Equal Treatment Act. However, the plaintiff was not entitled to compensation. Deutsche Bahn appealed the decision.

As early as December 2020, the Frankfurt district court had objected to the company's customer forms in another case. Having to choose between the options man and woman was discriminatory for people who did not feel they belonged to either gender, the decision said at the time. The court also recommended that Deutsche Bahn refrain entirely from using gender-specific forms of address or use a neutral greeting such as "Guten Tag".

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