• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health Minister Ben Høie presented the proposal on Friday. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change

AFP/The Local · 18 Mar 2016, 19:36

Published: 18 Mar 2016 19:36 GMT+01:00

The ministry introduced a bill proposing that "people who want to change their legal gender are no longer required to undergo medical treatment."
 
The bill is expected to pass with a broad majority in parliament.
 
"Norway is in the forefront when it comes to LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] rights. But our current system for changing legal gender is unacceptable and has been unchanged for nearly 60 years. This proposal is in accordance with human rights," Healthcare Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.
 
The bill "is historic because it is now the individual and not the health services that decide when he or she has changed legal gender," he said.
 
As in many other countries, people who want to officially change sex in Norway must currently undergo a long slew of procedures that usually take many years.
 
They have to go through in-depth psychiatric tests, hormone treatments and surgery for irreversible sterilisation.
 
"It's a very intrusive process," said Patricia Kaatee of Amnesty Norway.
 
The bill to be submitted to lawmakers states "that a person who feels that their gender differs from the sex they were given at birth, has the right to change this based on their own experience," the health ministry said.
 
People will have to fill out a document and send it to the nearest tax office, which registers civil status.
 
"It's the same procedure that has existed for changing your name since 2008. You can even do it in one click on the Internet," Ingvild Endestad of Norway's LGBT association said.
 
The age requirement to change gender will be lowered from 18 to 16, with no parental authorisation required.
 
For minors aged six to 16, parents will be required to authorise the change. If one parent opposes, authorities may decide "in the child's best interest."
Story continues below…
 
Children under the age of six will only be allowed to change gender if the child was born with a doctor-certified "genital ambiguity".
 
Amnesty International hailed the bill as a "historic breakthrough for transgender rights", and urged the Norwegian parliament to vote in favour of it to end "decades of discriminatory practices."
 
Norway would become one of the most liberal countries in the matter.
 
Argentina has since 2012 authorised gender changes by declaration only.

For more news from Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway youth 'improves' 5,000-year-old skier carving
The carving of the skier at Tro can never be seen again in its original form, archeologists believe. Photo: Nordland County

The 5,000 year-old carving is among the earliest evidence of stone age man's use of skis.

Norway man in hospital after Pokémon brawl
A Pokémon monster lurking in Oslo's Vigeland sculpture park. Photo: Audun Braastad/NTB

Another victim falls to the Pokémon peril.

Statoil blows $2.5bn on Brazil oil field stake
Statoil's Peregrino A platform offshore Brazil. Photo: Øyvind Hagen/Statoil

Norwegian oil giant has made a big ticket acquisition despite cost cuts, staff reductions, and a recent unexpected loss.

Norwegian activity centre refuses refugee visit
Anti-Discrimination Ombud Hanne Bjurstrøm believes the centre leader may have broken the law by refusing service based on ethnicity or national origin. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix

Owners of the Nissegården camping and activity centre in Lom municipality said no when local refugee services asked to book a visit for a group of refugees.

Norwegian tourism shrugs off Europe attacks
Photo: Torstein Bøe/NTB Scanpix

The tourism industry in major cities across Europe has been affected by the string of attacks across the continent in recent months, yet the tourist industry in Oslo and Norway in general appears to be heading for another record year.

Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
Reindeer collisions are a frequent occurence on Norway's roads, but rarely on this scale. Photo: Alcino/Flickr

A Norwegian man crashed into a herd of reindeer Tuesday night, killing at least 19.

Norwegian renters’ association: Regulate AirBnB
Poster in Berlin aimed at deterring tourists from using AirBnB. Photo: Gunnhild Hokholt Bjerve / NTB Scanpix

The association is concerned that the popular holiday rental site may be driving up rental prices in Norway's biggest cities.

Researcher: Norwegian politicians should stay out of US election
Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix

Norwegian politicians have no business getting involved in the US presidential election, says Hilmar Mjelde from the University of Bergen.

Norwegian minister: Immigration reforms inadequate
Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug. Photo: Lise Åserud/NTB Scanpix

Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug of the anti-immigration Progress Party warned that further immigration and asylum restrictions may be on the way.

Tourist presumed dead after Norwegian waterfall drop
Photo: Ned Alley/NTB Scanpix

An American tourist is feared dead after falling from a height of at least 20 metres into a waterfall late Sunday afternoon.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
National
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Education
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
2,090
jobs available