Norway to change gender change law to avoid need for castration

Norway's Health Ministry has pledged to allow men and women to formally change their gender without needing a medical sex change such as castration, raising wider questions about gender identification

by the commentator on 28 June 2014 14:44

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Breaking new ground in gender identification, Norway has pledged to allow men and women to make their own determination as to whether they are male or female regardless of whether they have had a medical sex change, Norway's The Local has reported.

Health Minister Bent Høie, was reported as saying:

"I am clear that the present system is not acceptable... The system we have in Norway today in this area is very poorly conceived."

As the law stands in Norway, men and women who wish to change their nominal gender identity must have had medical procedures such as castration and sterilisation in order to qualify. In other words, a man who retains the physiological characteristics of a man in terms of his reproductive organs is currently designated as a man in official documents.

Rights groups say that this is discriminatory since people should be allowed to self-identify as they please.

The Local quoted John Jeanette Solstad Remø, a 65-year-old transgender woman, as saying that s/he felt humiliated by the current legal situation and that sex change operations were problematic:

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