April 13, 2024

The Greens propose combining surnames

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) wants to reform German naming rights. Photo: imago stock&people/imago stock&people


This is already possible in Great Britain: the surnames “James” and “Harrison” become “Jamieson”. But is that model right for Germany? The plan is controversial within the Traffic Light Alliance.

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In the wake of the reform of naming rights planned by Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP), the Greens have also proposed merging surnames. “Connecting surnames instead of double names with a hyphen is a refreshing innovation and very charming,” said Helge Limburg, legal policy spokesman for the Green Party’s parliamentary group “Weld” (Tuesday edition). But there is resistance in the FDP.

For example, combining surnames is already possible in Great Britain. Mr. If James married his partner Harrison there, the couple could use the so-called “meshing” to bear the common name Jamison.

Sonja Eichwede, legal policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group, responded to a question about whether she thought it would make sense in Germany: “We are ready to discuss more far-reaching flexibility with experts as part of the inquiry.”

The FDP opposes the proposal

The FDP sees it very differently: “Unlike the possibility of double names, combining two surnames is not only completely alien to our naming rights,” said legal policy spokeswoman Kathryn Helling-Blaher. “There is no serious desire among people for such a name combination that departs from our naming rights principles.”

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Bushman wants to present a draft bill to change naming rights in the future. The reform aimed to make it possible for spouses to have joint double names. It used to be that only the spouse who did not change the surname used their previous name before and after the surname. After Bushman’s reformation, dual names should be possible for children.



Changing names after a divorce should be easy

Bushman also wants to make it easier for children to change their name after a divorce. In future, this can be brought about by a notification to the Registry Office. Changing the Name Act, a cumbersome procedure by common law, is no longer necessary.

Finally, the traditions of minorities with legal names should also be facilitated. Bushman’s ministry refers to gendered surnames among Sorbs.

The FDP politician confirmed on Twitter on Tuesday that reform of the naming law was “overdue”. Because the previous regulations “do not do justice to the diverse life plans in our society”.