Government aims to make gender change easier

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Norway’s conservative government coalition wants to make it easier for Norwegians to change their gender in line with their own sexual definitions of themselves. Amnesty International claims the proposal will end a “dark chapter” in the nation’s history.

No longer will Norwegians, down to as young as age six, be required to have a medical diagnosis or have undergone any medical treatment or surgery such as sterilization to change their sex from male to female. The government’s “Proposition 74L” will reduce the entire process to filling out a form and turning it into the country’s folkeregisteret, the central register for all legal residents of Norway.

“This is an important victory for everyone who for many years has fought for people’s rights to be themselves,” Patricia Kaatee of Amnesty International in Norway told news bureau NTB.

The law change was fronted by Health Minister Bent Høie from the Conservative Party, who is himself gay and thinks the current law is “unacceptable.” He noted that it hasn’t been changed for 60 years, while the new proposal is more in line with human rights. It will especially make life easier for trans-gender who live as both males and females.

“This new law means I can be accepted as the person I am,” said John Jeanette Remø Solstad at a ceremony just before the weekend, at which Solstad cut a rainbow-decorated cake along with Høie. Women who change their gender will now be able to retain their ovaries and have children. All over age 16 will be able to fill out a form to change their gender and their names. Children aged six to 16 can also change their gender, with their parents’ approval. The proposed measure is expected to have support in Parliament.

newsinenglish.no staff