Finland approves new transgender law


Northern Europe


Photo EPA, Sascha Steinbach

Fins no longer have to get an expert opinion if they want to change their gender. Presenting their wish to the registry office is sufficient to change their legal gender on official documents.

On Wednesday, the Finnish Riksdag approved a new transgender law. That means that people above 18 years of age who wish to change their legal gender no longer need to get medical and psychiatric approval first anymore, Euractiv reports.

In total, 113 members of the Riksdag were in favour of the proposal, 69 voted against it, and 17 abstained.

Common sense

Christian Democratic MP Päivi Räsänen is very critical of the new transgender law. Her party voted against it, and Räsänen writes on Facebook that she is sad and shocked by the course of events. "Green-left ideology has replaced common sense", she writes, as reported by Verdinytt. The politician adds that she wants the next Riksdag to sort out "the absurd gender law."

She criticises that "legal gender is removed from medical research and biology." "You can change your gender through an application procedure without changing your gender expression", she states.


Furthermore, Räsänen worries about the consequences for women's rights. "If gender means identity rather than demographics, how can the rights of people belonging to that demographic be promoted at all, especially under the Women's Equality Act?" she questions.

The politician suspects that it is not the public opinion that pushes this law through but only a result of the government's strategy. Nor does she believe that the transgender law is necessary to guarantee human rights, as the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that member states can determine their own legislation concerning legal gender change.


In addition, the government's reasoning behind the new legislation is incorrect, Räsänen points out. The Riksdag argues that the transgender law is to end the forced sterilisation of transgender people. However, there is not a single case in which this happened, according to the Christian Democrat. "The lack of reproductive capacity comes as a result of a person themselves wanting changes in the body through hormone treatments or operations", she says.

Lastly, Räsänen worries about the fact that most MPs are in favour of applying the transgender law to minors in the future. She is concerned that minors with mental health problems will change their gender too easily. Instead, Räsänen had pleaded for mental help to treat gender dysphoria for these people, but her proposals were rejected.



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