Sweden passes new self-identification law

Sweden passed a more liberal law on gender self-identification on Wednesday. Under the new law trans people will no longer be required to undergo a complex psychological diagnosis to change their gender in their passport; a medical report will suffice. In addition, the age for a legal gender change has been lowered to 16, although parental permission is still required, and adults will no longer need the approval of the National Board of Health and Welfare to undergo gender reassignment procedures.

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Aftonbladet (SE) /

Conservative voters will get over this

Social democratic newspaper Aftonbladet praises conservative Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson for pushing the law through even though according to polls 85 percent of his party's voters were against the proposal:

“Kristersson faltered somewhat when he expressed his reservations about lowering the age limit to 16. But he got the party to support him, and for that he deserves credit. In time, the voters will support him too. ... Life for trans people will become a little easier, Sweden will become more open. Ulf Kristersson shouldn't be ashamed of this.”

The Spectator (GB) /

Overwhelmed politicians

For The Spectator, Kristersson's reasons for waving this law through are as clear as they are depressing:

“Why would a politician defy the wishes of his own voters, to pass a law he himself says he doesn't like, on behalf of his political enemies who themselves are at most lukewarm about it in the first place? Far from Kristersson being some sort of double agent, or there being some conspiracy or other, his behaviour is likely just part of a much wider political malaise in western conservative thinking. At the moment, the massive problems and unfulfilled promises and crises that seem to lack a solution are seemingly becoming so overwhelming that our politicians almost seem to simply … give up.”

Expressen (SE) /

Confused teenagers written into law

Commenting in Expressen, Hanif Bali, a former MP for Kristersson's ruling party Moderata samlingspartiet, sees the reduction of parental influence as detrimental:

“So preventing your daughter from going deeper down a gender ideology rabbit hole risks becoming a criminal offence. Who, if not doctors or parents, will ensure that 80 to 90 percent of these young people make it past the 20-year mark without having made permanent life-changing decisions that were unnecessary? Don't the youth of today have the right to look back on their confused trans teenage years and laugh? ... Ulf Kristersson owes us an answer to these questions.”