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Sweden ends forced sterilization of trans

Sweden repeals law which meant a trans person must be sterilized to have their gender change recognized legally
Stockholm court repeals law which meant a trans person must be sterilized to have their gender change recognized legally

Sweden has officially ended the forced sterilization of transgender people after tens of thousands of Europeans fought to have the law repealed.

The legislation, which has been in effect in the Scandanavian country since 1972, meant a trans person must be sterilized or else their gender change is not recognized legally.

However, the practice was officially banned yesterday (10 January) after a ruling by the Stockholm administrative court of appeal on 19 December which said the law was unconstitutional and in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The decision follows a campaign by gay rights activists and appeals from Members of the European Parliament.

In February, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RSFL) and AllOut.org collected 47,689 signatures from European citizens urging Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to speak out against the law, having previously remained silent on the issue.

Ulrika Westerlund, president of the RSFL, welcomed the abolishment of the law which is thought to have been used on up to 500 trans people.

She expects many of those victims will now seek compensation from the state, adding that 200,000 kronor (€23,500, $31,000) per person would be a 'fair sum'.

'If lawmakers take the initiative to adopt a law outlining damages, we will not file a lawsuit,' she said, reported AFP.

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