Sweden lowers age for legal gender change from 18 to 16

The Swedish parliament passed a law on Wednesday that lowered the age required for people to legally change their gender from 18 to 16 years old and ruled that a gender dysphoria diagnosis will no longer be required, drawing sharp criticism from those who opposed it.

The vote lasted almost 6 hours and passed 234-94 with 21 lawmakers absent, per AP News.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson's coalition had been previously split on the issue, with Christian Democrats opposing it and Moderates and Liberals supporting it.

Johan Hultberg of the Moderates of Sweden ruling party applauded the decision as "gratifying" and said it was "a cautious but important reform for a vulnerable group," adding, "I'm glad we're done with it."

"The great majority of Swedes will never notice that the law has changed, but for a number of transgender people the new law makes a large and important difference," Hultberg stated, according to France 24.

However right-wing party Sweden Democrats, which is not a part of the government but supports it in parliament, largely opposed the law. Its leader, Jimmie Akesson, told reporters it was "deplorable that a proposal that clearly lacks the support of the population is so lightly voted through."

Along with lowering the age requirement and blocking the requirement of a gender dysphoria diagnosis to change legal gender, preliminary surgical sex changes would no longer require the Board of Health and Welfare's approval for people over 18 years old.

The removal of ovaries or testicles will still only be an option for people over 23 years of age.
 

Image: Title: ulf kristersson
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