Trans people are celebrating in Norway today after politicians officially voted to allow people to determine their own gender.
Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor in the law which will allow children as young as six to be identified as the gender they truly are.
It was approved in the final vote today by 79 votes to 13.
Under the new healthcare law, trans people aged 16 and older can have their gender recognized without any compulsory requirements. Children aged 6-15 can apply with parental permission.
Norway is the fourth country to do this after Denmark, Malta and Ireland.
‘This increasing trend towards safe and accessible recognition processes, and a model that empowers and advances the rights of trans people, is to be celebrated.’ commented Joyce Hamilton, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board.
Brian Sheehan, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, added: ‘The Norwegian vote sends out a strong message to other European governments. Oppressive preconditions, such as medical interventions, psychiatric diagnosis or sterilisation, need to be consigned to history. The parliamentarians who voted in favor of self-determination today have set a strong example that their counterparts across the continent can follow.’
Trans activists are now hoping to remove all age limits and to recognize non-binary adults and children.
Norway was an early pioneer in allowing people to change their legal gender – provided they were given psychiatric evaluation and underwent a full surgical sex change with sterilization – but the legal arrangements for transgender people had not been updated in six decades.
‘This is an important area where Norway has lagged far behind many other countries for many years,’ Health Minister Bent Høie said, who announced the proposed changes.
‘Now we can be proud that we are implementing this law.’