In general, the public service does not have a reputation for reacting particularly quickly. The image of the unyielding civil servant is one of the stereotypes in many European countries. The town of Neuenrade in Germany has now shown that there is another way.
The town made the headlines in the past few days because the online form for dog tax registration with the city showed another gender option for our four-legged friends next to “male” and “female” – that of “diverse”. Screenshots of this spread across social networks and national media also jumped on the next big “gender” issue.
Last Monday, however, the said form was quickly changed. Instead of “diverse”, next to “male” and “female”, it stated only “no information”. Has the progressive move towards more “diversity” failed?
Not at all, a city employee explained when questioned by Berlin weekly Junge Freiheit. The crux of the matter was indeed the pervasive focus on gender. For example, a component of the program that is several years old, has been supplemented with the option “diverse” for all gender information and that has been adopted everywhere in the system – including when registering for dog tax.
Therefore, to offer dog owners another sex option for their pet, was not a direct political decision, but rather a systemic one. But that is exactly what everyone had assumed when opening the page for registration. Neuenrade mayor Antonius Wiesemann (CDU) complained about being inundated with complaints because of the “technical error on the homepage”.
After the error on the homepage was corrected, calm returned to the town hall in Neuenrade. With their quick response on Monday morning, those responsible have shown that votes could be imperilled when action is not taken right away.
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