Sweden has passed a new law on gender reassignment: it lowers the minimum age for gender reassignment from 18 to 16 years

The Swedish Parliament passed a law this Wednesday that lowers the minimum age for changing gender in marital status from 18 to 16 years and makes it easier to access gender confirmation surgeries.

After six hours of intense debate, MPs passed the law with 234 votes in favor and 94 against from the 349 seats that make up the “Riksdag”, the Swedish parliament.

Two new laws will replace the current legislation: one regulating surgical gender reassignment and the other regulating marital status gender reassignment.

Once the text comes into force, on July 1, 2025, gender in marital status can be changed from the age of 16. However, to do this before reaching the age of 18, the consent of parents, a doctor and the National Directorate of Health and Welfare is required.

However, a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria,” which determines that the affected person suffers from a discrepancy between the gender with which they identify and the gender they were assigned at birth, is no longer required.

“Sweden finally has a modern law on gender identity,” said Muharrem Demirok, leader of the Center Party.

Jimmie Åkesson, leader of the far-right Sweden Democrats, said the result of the vote was “regrettable”. “When it comes to children, as is the case here, (the issue) is even more sensitive. I think it is a decision that should be revoked,” he said.

The new law will facilitate the change of gender in marital status, a procedure that is currently “very lengthy” and “can take up to seven years in Sweden,” recalled Peter Sidlund Ponkala, president of the National Federation for Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans Rights and “queer” (RFSL).

Sex reassignment surgery

Gender confirmation operations are still only permitted from the age of 18, but no longer require the approval of the National Health Directorate.

Ovarian or testicular ablation is still only permitted from the age of 23.

According to a poll published this week, around 60% of Swedes oppose the new legislation and 22% support it.

The proposal caused divisions within the center-right coalition led by conservative Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and was able to move forward thanks to the support of the left-wing opposition.

AFP

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