The Ministry of Social Affairs has submitted a new bill that will allow legal gender reassignment in the population register from the age of 12. According to the new bill, the consent of their guardians will only be required for legal gender reassignment, and no examination resp. contact from health authorities will be needed, Sputnik reported. The Swedish Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights (RFSL), a non-profit organization founded in 1950, has hailed the current version of the bill as a major step forward for transgender rights.
National transmitter SVT “It is important for the individual to be able to live in the gender and identity you have. When you talk about changing gender identity in the population register, it deserves to be different. From having an operation on your genitals.”
The Swedish government has long tried to modernize the country’s gender equality law, but the lawyer harshly criticized the earlier iteration of the bill 2018. The government wanted to lower the age limit for surgery to 15 years – without the guardian’s consent or parent. In the previous draft, it was proposed that children as young as 12 years of age should be allowed to change their legal gender with the consent of their guardian. From the age of 15, no consent would have been required.
The Minister speculated that it is difficult to predict whether the applications for gender reassignment will increase once the bill has been implemented. The age limit for gender-correcting medical treatment remains at 18 years. However, surgery will not require permission from the National Board of Health and Welfare. Instead, local doctors will perform the necessary tests. Hallengren emphasized the importance of communication and rapport between the patient and the medical team.
The number of girls seeking gender reassignment has increased
In 2008, 28 girls aged 10-19 received care for gender dysphoria, according to the National Board of Health and Welfare. In 2017, a decade later, a total of 536 girls in the same age group were enrolled. Many reports from doctors and parents testify that a large number regret their intervention and in some cases even chose to end their lives because of it. The Sweden Democrats’ Member of Parliament Angelica Lundberg wrote in her proposal to instead raise the age limit to 25 years.
At the same time, Sweden is seen as having some of the most liberal LGBT laws globally, with surveys that consistently indicate that an overwhelming majority of Swedes (well over 90 percent) support LGBT rights and same-sex marriage. In 1944, same-sex sexual activity became legal and in 1972 the age of consent was raised to the same level as heterosexual activity. Sweden was also the first country in the world to classify transvestism as a disease in 1972, which made it possible for transgender people to legally change gender after a gender reassignment operation. In 2013, legislation was passed that enabled legal gender reassignment without hormone treatment or gender reassignment surgery.