Members of the Swedish government have announced they will not
change the current law requesting transgender people to undergo
A majority of the Swedish Parliament is for an abolishment of the
law but a small conservative party is putting a halt to the
Human Rights Watch has called it a crime against humanity, members
of the European Parliament have urged the Swedish Parliament to
change the law and All Out organisation has launched a campaign
attempting to change Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's mind.
The 1972 law being kept in force states that a person wanting
their gender reconsidered by the state has to be over 18 years old,
unmarried and sterilised.
Transgender persons are also banned from storing sperm or eggs in
a sperm/egg bank for future use.
Annika Eclund, LGBT spokesperson from Kristdemokraterna, the party
responsible for the deadlock, has previously told Swedish radio she
"doesn't entirely understand why it would go against human
"If I as a female feel I am really a man and want to change
gender, then it is pretty natural that as a father I would not be
able to give birth," she said.
The news hit hard in a country that still remembers its dark past
of a state-enforced eugenistic sterilisation-programme ending as
late as 1976.
The Swedish PM has previously said he thinks sterilisation belongs
to a dark, distant, time and political commentators are wondering
whether the current deadlock is an attempt at keeping peace within
the coalition Parliament.
Speaking exclusively to DIVA and Pink Paper, Ulrika Westerlund,
head of The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Rights said today:
"We are trying with all means to stop there being an official
Parliament agreement to keep the law…it is unacceptable to
negotiate with human rights like this. This law should have been
torn up a long time ago and it is unworthy of a democracy to have
to discuss whether we should have forced sterlisation of people or
Jane Fae, campaigner on issues of sexual rights, said: "It is to
be hoped that the Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt,
currently in thrall to a small reactionary right-wing party, will
pluck up the courage to resist their pressure and allow reform
through his parliament.
"However, we should not overlook the fact that despite Human
Rights declarations to the contrary, in Europe and elsewhere, the
requirement for surgery that effectively sterilises an individual
before they can be recognised in their identified gender, is pretty
widespread, throughout much of Europe and the United States.
"Or worse, as in states like Tennessee, gender assertion is not
recognised at all, no matter what an individual does."
Forced sterilisation breaches Article 3 of EU Charter of
Fundamental Rights and Erik Ullenhag, Swedish Minster of
Integration, has denied that a final decision has been made on the