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Human rights group slams sex change laws

TT/Clara Guibourg · 15 Jan 2012, 12:48

Published: 15 Jan 2012 12:48 GMT+01:00

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Despite a majority in support for the proposal, Sweden's Riksdag recently postponed the move to scrap Swedish laws requiring compulsory sterilization for people undergoing gender reassignment surgery, following opposition from the Christian Democrats.

According to legislation passed in 1972, to undergo a sex change operation a person must be over 18-years-old, a Swedish citizen, be sterilized and unmarried.

In HRW's letter to Reinfeldt, Boris Dittrich, advocacy director of HRW's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender program, wrote of the organization's concerns that while changing the law to exclude the rules on married status and citizenship, the Swedish government still hasn't removed the compulsory sterilization condition.

"The Swedish law causes anguish for transgender people who choose not to have the required surgery, involving an invasive medical procedure, for various reasons such as out of a wish to one day become parents," wrote Dittrich, citing frequent public humiliation and vulnerability to discrimination as risks for those whose identification documents do not match their gender.

HRW describes Sweden's current legislation as outdated.

"The Swedish transgender law stems from 1972 and is out of step with current international best practice and understandings of Swedish obligations under international human rights law."

Story continues below…

All Riksdag parties bar the Christian Democrats support a rewritten sex change law.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:02 January 15, 2012 by byke
The HRW's letter did NOT "SLAM" sex laws in Sweden.

Anyone who reads it themselves can see great biased by the journalist of this article.
14:58 January 15, 2012 by jostein
If you simulate a "change" of your sex from woman to man and keep your ovaries, how can you be a man? If you change your sex from man to woman and keep your balls hanging around, can you really be said to be a woman? I mean, these people perceive that they are the opposite gender to what they were born to. They feel this so strongly that they are willing to go through extensive surgery. Do they even WANT to be a woman with balls haning around? Do they even WANT to be a man with ovaries?

What these political lobby people argue is that people should be allowed to change their sex to a new sex. Fair enough, but then they should argue THAT case, instead of this illogical argument. Furthermore, they should show that changing your sex to this third sex will decrease suicide or some other tangible benefit to the gruop undergoing this medical treatment. But methinks these politicals in the HBTQ lobby dont care at all about people with the transgender condition. They just out looking to increase their own power and take the opportunity to throw around the "forced sterilization" word since it makes neat headlines.
09:53 January 16, 2012 by Old Trafford
a case of having your cake and eating it
15:31 January 16, 2012 by Glorius

Transgender is a very wide description of a person, ranging from people wanting to be fully the opposite sex they were born to people just feeling like it and dressing the part but dont wanna go through surgery and everything in between, a transgender isn't neccessary only a person that wants to be either full female or male. So infact they're arguing for what your saying they should argue for...

Why should the state decide if I want to get tits I also have to get sterilized? There's no real logic why it is like that except an outdated law that dosen't really fit into the current societys view on HBTQ people.
21:07 January 16, 2012 by jostein

Well, the other side of the spectrum is, why let yourself be defined by the state? If the state considered me a woman i would simply conclude the state is idiotic and go my merry way?

Anyway, you really are arguing that people should be allowed to change their gender to a third sex? Fine, but if you want taxdollars to do it you have to show some tangible medical benefit of such. Like suicidestatistics or somesuch.
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