Denmark eases requirements for gender reassignment in new legislation

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On Wednesday, the Danish parliament had adopted new legislation that makes it the first country in the euro zone to stop requiring individuals who are looking to change their gender legally to receive a clinical diagnosis of "gender identity disorder," Buzzfeed said. This was reported by the the European chapter of the International Lesbian and Gay Association in a release.

According to the new law, which is expected to take effect in Denmark in September, Danes who would be undergoing gender reassignment will also not be required to take surgery and sterilization first. The new law will have individuals to provide a statement requesting a change in their official documents, which will then be processed after a half-year "reflection period."

Minister for Economics and the Interior Margrethe Vestager said in a statement, "Today we have dropped the requirement of sterilization when transgendered people need a new personal identification number as part of a legal sex change. It will make life easier and more dignified for the individual, for example when you are asked for ID in shops."

ILGA-Europe co-chair Gabi Calleja has commended the move, Buzzfeed said. She stated, "Just like in 1989, when Denmark became the first country in the world to introduce a legal concept of same-sex partnership, today Denmark pioneered another significant change in Europe. Instead of keeping the state in charge of a person's body and life, the parliament recognized that these are rights pertaining to the individual."

RTE News said last year, Sweden had scrapped a similar law. The move resulted to a group of Swedish transexuals who underwent sterilization for gender reassignment seeking compensation from the government.

In February, Amnesty International had said that majority of the countries in the euro zone require someone to be diagnosed with a mental disorder, undego specific procedures such as hormone treatments in preparation for gender reassignment. Moreover, transexuals who are applying for gender reassignment need to prove that they are single. The rights group said such requirements were a violation to some of the 1.5 million transgender people estimated to be living across the continent.

SOURCE: Lawyer Herald, June 11th 2014: