Reykjavík, IS – On Wednesday, June 18, Iceland’s Parliament voted unanimously in favor of a landmark gender identity law that has the stated goal of expanding the rights of individuals who identify as transgender or non-binary.
Under the new law, any person who is native-born or an immigrant to Iceland, including children under age 18, is eligible to change name and sex on legal documents, at will and without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
Individuals who identify as non-binary or a third-gender will have the option of listing their sex as “X” on the National Registry.
In addition, the informed consent model will make the process of obtaining gender-affirming cosmetic surgery and hormone pills quick and easy. Under the model, the individual is assumed to be the only one who knows his or her true sex, and a medical professional is simply there to facilitate any process that the individual chooses to go through in order to affirm this closely held faith in true identity.
Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir, a male transgender activist who identifies as non-binary and also uses the name Owl Fisher, assisted in drafting the bill. “There have been questions raised about the potential consequences of the law for women’s shelters, prisons, sports and recreational activities such as swimming (much like in the UK),” Mr Fisher said, noting that the bill’s advocates were able to mitigate these concerns during the talks.
The bill passed with 45 yes votes, and no Parliamentary opposition. Three members of Parliament, all from the Centre Party, abstained from voting, and there were 15 absentees.
The bill, which was proposed to Parliament by the Prime Minister’s office, received support from such organizations as Amnesty International and the Women’s Rights Organisation of Iceland.
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