home
arts
literature
social sciences
special features
discussion
about glbtq
   search

 
   Encyclopedia
   Discussion
 
 
 
 
Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Copyright
 
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
 
 
 
 
subscribe
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
 
 
 
  unsubscribe
 
 
Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
 
Stonewall Riots Stonewall Riots
The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
 
Native Americans
A social role for individuals who crossed or mixed male and female characteristics was one of the most widely distributed institutions of native North America.
 
The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980 The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
 
Mixed-Orientation Marriages
Mixed-orientation marriages--those in which one partner is straight and the other is gay or lesbian--often end in divorce, but such an ending is not inevitable.
 
Leather Culture
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
 
Transgender Activism
Since the late nineteenth century, transgendered people have advocated legal and social reforms that would ameliorate the kinds of oppression and discrimination they suffer.
 
Gay Liberation Front
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
 
Topics In the News
 
Sweden Moves to End Sex-Change Sterilization Requirement
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 02/24/12
Last updated on: 02/24/12
 
Bookmark and Share


Love Georg Elfvelin, a young trans man, explains the importance of the repeal on YouTube.

Although Sweden has long been noted for progressive attitudes toward sex and sexuality, it has maintained a requirement that individuals who wish to alter their gender on legal documents must be sterilized. Despite a campaign to repeal this requirement, which has been characterized as "barbaric," the government had refused to budge because of the opposition of a small conservative party, the Christian Democrats, which is part of a ruling center-right coalition led by the Moderate Party. Now, however, the Christian Democrats have changed their position, thus making possible quick reform.

In January the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare introduced an amendment that said the current legislation violates Article 3 of the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights, protecting "the right to respect for [everyone's] physical and mental integrity." While a very large majority of members of the Swedish Parliament supported the amendment to repeal the sterilization requirement, it was blocked by a small conservative party in coalition with the ruling Moderate Party.

Outraged that the repeal was blocked in Parliament, glbtq activists and groups, especially the organization AllOut.org, created a global campaign to pressure the country's officials to take action against the law. According to Jason St. Amand of Edge on the Net, the campaign became the largest online campaign in history supporting human rights for transgender people.

In response to the international pressure, Christian Democrat leaders have now reversed their position. On February 18, the Swedish paper The Local reported that leaders of the party announced that they will now support removal of the sex-change sterilization requirement.

As Nicole Pasulka observes in Mother Jones, the exact date of repeal is uncertain. Still, Andre Banks, executive director of AllOut, said that it will happen soon: "it's just a question of whether the bureaucratic process takes two months, or four months, or six months, and activists in Sweden are going to keep the pressure on." Once the law is officially reversed, trans people in Sweden will get to have their ID and legal documents changed to reflect their gender "without having to go through what is often a really embarrassing terrifying process," Banks said.

Ulrika Westerlund, president of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, characterized the government's change in position as "incredible news for Sweden," but added, "It's crucial that the new law comes into place as soon as possible."

The current requirement creates real hardship for trans people who resist sterilization. When trans people cannot present official identification that matches their preferred gender presentation, they often suffer humiliation and discrimination.

Love Georg Elfvelin, a young trans man, explains the importance of the repeal in the video below.

Activists working on the AllOut campaign hope that reversing forced sterilization in Sweden will send a signal to other European countries, many of which have the same requirement. By working closely with partners, Banks said, their goal is "to find moments where international solidarity can help tip the balance in favor of greater equality."

"Swedish activists have worked for years to lay the foundation for this victory and I am so proud that AllOut.org could build the international momentum that finally pushed Prime Minister Reinfeldt and party leaders to end this cruel practice," Banks said. "It's a victory for Sweden, but it is also decisive for Europe. AllOut.org members across the continent will continue to push online and in Parliament until each of these appalling laws are thrown out with the trash."

 
Related Encyclopedia Entries
 
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
 
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
 
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2014, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.