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More freedom / commentary by Jens Kleindienst on naming rights

General Newspaper Mainz

Mainz (ots)

The liberal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann has announced a reform of the German naming law. Is that important? Hasn’t there been enough freedom here for a long time, for example when choosing a family name? By and large yes, but unfortunately not in many cases. The spectacular judgment with which the Federal Constitutional Court ended the natural predominance of the male name in marriage is now 32 years ago. Nevertheless, the applicable law still contains restrictions that do not do justice to the diversity of life plans in our society, in some cases with the express approval of the Constitutional Court.

For example, a single mother marries a new partner, takes his surname, and the mother’s child also takes the new husband’s surname. The mother later divorced. She can go back to her old name, while her child, even after the divorce, must initially keep the name of his mother’s ex-husband, who is not his father at all. This is illogical and an impertinence for the child.

Second example: Many couples today want to use a common double name, which is made up of their maiden names, and also want to pass this on to their children. This has not been possible up to now, with the surname there is still a strict either/or. There are no convincing justifications for these and other restrictions. They are remnants of a legal tradition in which the state over-prescribed its citizens in very private matters. As early as 2020, the then grand coalition had presented key points for a reform of naming rights. At that time the matter somehow petered out, now the traffic light coalition is making a new attempt. Hopefully this time it works.

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Original content from: Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz, transmitted by news aktuell

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