Norwegian Parliament says no to third gender


Northern Europe


Photo EPA, Bjorn Sigurdson

Even though the Liberal Party in Norway continues to push for creating a third legal gender besides male and female, the majority of the Storting wants to wait for the results of an investigation on the issue first.

The Norwegian politicians debated the question of introducing a legal gender category on Thursday. Earlier, the Liberal Party had presented a proposal that would enable people to change their legal gender to something different from male and female. The bill also included ideas for better treatment for people with gender dysphoria, Dagen wrote last week. Even though the government investigation is still ongoing at the moment, the proposal of the Liberal Party forced the Parliament to decide on the issue earlier.

Yet, the majority of the Storting does not want to hasten the final decision on a third gender. The Labour Party, the Conservative Party, the Centre Party, the Progress Party, the Christian People's Party and Patient Focus say no to a third gender while the government's investigation is pending.

The Christian Democrats are the only party that will say no to a third gender, regardless of the outcome of the investigation. "I think it is logical to assign gender categories according to biology. We should not undermine the fact that there are people who do not recognise themselves in those categories. Still, we have to find solutions within the current structures", Christian Democrat leader Hadle Rasmus Bjuland says.

He warns against progressing with gender treatment without knowing the consequences of this. "These are questions that should be treated with care and caution. Those who will use the offer deserve that." In addition, he does not think decentralising the treatment is a good idea, as it will lead to differences in treatment depending on which clinic people go to.

Strongly anchored

In December 2022, the Swiss government rejected a proposal to introduce a third gender, saying that “the binary gender model is still strongly anchored in Swiss society.” This reports AP News.

The government said a national ethics commission found in a 2020 report that the time wasn’t yet right for a change to the system.

In 2018, the German government approved a third gender option for official records, allowing people to be registered as “diverse.” The law already allowed for gender to be left blank.



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