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London protest follows Sweden’s trans sterilisation rule

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  1. Amazing: if this story had been about an African country we’d already have 10 racist comments condemning “those” black people and “their” idiotic homo/transphobic policies. Sorry if it looks like trolling, but the exception seems to be proving the rule here…

    1. Or anti-islamic if it involved Muslim people…

    2. Except of course, as the article makes clear, that the Swedish stance is a minority one in the government being held for political expediency rather than a general population one. It is not the Swedish people or even most of the politico’s who support this.

      The comparisons with Islam and Africa do not work as the opposite is true in those cases.

  2. But on topic; these rules are the main reason I cannot work in Sweden, which is a shame given the jobs in my sector that are available there.

    1. I admit freely to not knowing the details of this but if you would help me a bit.

      If you already have recognition in the UK is that honoured in Sweden (regardless of sterilisation status) and this rule only affects those people who are actively seeking gender recognition by the Swedish state or does non compliance with the sterilisation rule invalidate other countries recognition rules?

      1. I haven’t investigated it in detail, but in such cases (recognition of gender identity, same sex marriage) local laws tend to over-rule foreign rules, and as such I don’t want to take the chance, even if there technically is an excception, try explaining that to the local police…

        1. Go over, what the hell. Maybe you’ll be the one that makes a difference.

  3. Helen Wilson 2 Feb 2012, 12:10pm

    No doubt some will saying: “what’s the big deal you are sterilising yourselves by undergoing gender reassignment”

    But its a big deal because its about self determination. As trans people we have the right to a family life without hindrance from the state just like anyone else under EU law. Our reproductive rights are the same as anyone else’s, no government has the right to decide who can or cannot reproduce.

    Trans rights are human rights.

    1. @helen

      Its not an issue I have looked into or thought about a great deal …

      That said, human rights (of whatever theme) are supposed to be about fairness and equity …

      Self determination should be a key principle in ensuring human rights are maintained …

      Surely, (and again I admit my lack of knowledge of this specific area, in advance) there is a legal issue in regards consent …?

      1. Helen Wilson 2 Feb 2012, 1:13pm

        Hi Stu,

        The Swedish authorities do not round up trans people and forcibly sterilise them. Its far more subtle than that, they will not legally recognise the trans person (in health care, law and administrative things like ID ect) without sterilisation and all reproductive avenues closed down.

        The legal issue is around the European convention of human rights right to a family life without hindrance from the state. Clearly Sweden are hindering its transgender citizens.

        1. Thanks, Helen

          I will do some reading into this area as it sounds interesting …

          I can see the potential for a case both under the ECHR right to a family life provisions, but also wonder if (even though subtle) the requirement of the Swedish state to accept sterilisation means that any consent to that process is bogus?

        2. The laws sound like they were framed in the original context of sex change surgery, therefore at the time of their creation would have been completely understandable as that’s what trans people actually wanted (and many still do, Trans women and men included). This is a case of current law being out of step with what people want, which is hardly a new thing.

    2. But there is an issue here, as transpeople are not simply looking for “self-determination” but also to determine how others view and refer to them – even as legal entities. It doesn’t seem any infringement at all for the state to say that “here is out definition of a person who has reassigned their gender” and to make rules about that. If you don’t like the rule, then simply accept that in that country you may well think of yourself as whatever gender you wish (that is, as you say, self-determination) but others or the state don’t have to look at you by your own estimation but may impose boundaries to that acceptance.

      1. Joe,
        your view may be ok in theory, but in practice, it’s very naive. Take the matter of birth certificates as an example. A person may identify as a woman, pass as a woman, have female-looking genitalia and breasts. But if the state does not recognise her as a woman, then for some purposes at least, she will be treated as a man. This is way countries have gender recognition legislation AND why trans-identified and gender-variant people have to struggle and fight to get their identities recognised by the State.

        1. But this is my whole point – self-determination has to do with how you act; how others respond to you is out of the hands of the self, you cannot control it. So, no matter how much someone acts as one or other gender, if others don’t see them that way, there’s nothing they can do. In simple terms, no one individual can force another to see them in any way, gender or otherwise.

  4. I find this strange as they are allowed to have sex with animals in Sweden, yet they can’t do this?

    1. when I lived there animal sex was legal… that’s what I meant, and now they want to do this to people that want to be transgender?
      I didn’t mean it in a bad way, so sorry if I offended anyone

      1. disease free! 4 Feb 2012, 7:12pm

        Don’t wory abou offence. Nothing is disgusting to the homosexual disoder communiy where there is consent. Animals certainly consent to sexual acts , dogs and horses for instance. Many vile people enjoy eating one another excrement. Some fathers like to be buggered by their consentig adult sons. All perfectly moral acts and not sinful at al because there is mutual consent. That is the code of the homosexual disorder communtiy whos’ depravity knows no bounds!

  5. It is nothing less than a scandal! In 2010 I attended a lgbt rights debate between the leaders of all parliamentary parties. All except for Goran Hagglund of the Christian Democrats (the only party in favour of keeping this law) who chose not to attend. When the question about sterilization came up there was complete agreement between all six party leaders that this was a disturbing reminder of a dark past and that it was shameful that the law had not been removed. It was condemned by all present (representing around 95% of voters at the time) and I got the impression by prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt that it was the matter of a technicality to have it removed. Yet he has been unable to do so as not to anger his Christian coalition partners (a party with around 5% of votes). It’s a farce!

  6. Bill (Scotland) 2 Feb 2012, 4:35pm

    This does not surprise me at all. Despite its reputation abroad for being tolerant and enlightened, remember it is not so very many years since Sweden abandoned its long-standing policy of sterilising those classified as “feeble-minded”.

    1. Unfortunately this is not only Sweden. Denmark does the same, and that is just to icing on the cake: transgender people have to undergo something that looks remarkably like “repstorative” therapy to even get to the point where the doctors rip out everything that looks remotely as reproductive organs. Scandinavia (perhaps Norway has other rules, not certain) is, when it comes to trans rights and views very, very far behind. And even then, most transpeople are refused and denied the operation and/or recognition they need. Also, the group seems to only emcompass those who fit into the binary; there is little room in this for neutrois or people with a fluid gender perception.

      Welcome to 2012, Sweden.

  7. ANY political party that begins with ‘Christian’ is assured of denying people their human rights!

  8. I’m probably going to offend someone, but lets face it you can’t speak anymore without offending someone. Here goes I agree and disagree with Sweden’s rules. First the agreement, yes if you are a FTM transsexual then you are a man correct? Psychologically and with surgery hopefully physically. Men do not bear children you have to accept that fact when you transition. Now for the disagreement I believe you should have the right to freeze and use either sperm or eggs for ivf.

    1. This whole debate sets my head spinning …

      Can someone put it in a nutsehll and explain what both sides of the argument are …

      I disagree with any form of forced clinical intervention (ie without meaningful or coerced consent) …

      I can kind of see Brians point …. but is there anything more to this than that?

      Trans issues are ones that I tread gently because my understanding is limited … but I do want to understand but recognise that I might say something with the best of intentions but out of ignorance say something that is not what I mean or says something I dont intend …

      Anyone help?

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