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    Minor Adjustment: Denmark Considers Legalizing Sex Changes for Children

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    Following its first-ever action plan for sexual minorities, the Danish government is planning to consider granting minors the opportunity to legally change their sex. So far, the Conservatives have been the only party to openly oppose the plan.

    With an action plan symbolically presented by Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen at Rainbow Square near Copenhagen City Hall, Denmark's coalition right-of-the-center government aims to drastically improve the situation of the LGBT community and prevent discrimination, the Danish newspaper Politiken reported.

    The plan includes considerations of whether to permit minors, including transgender children, to register as having a different sex. This wouldn't entail gender re-assignment surgery.

    ​Equality Minister Eva Kjer Hansen, who has been named coordinator for LGBT issues for 2018-21, stressed that there has been a "very pronounced" drive for legalizing legal sex change for those aged below 18. By her own admission, the corresponding procedure for adults, which was introduced in 2014, proved to be "rather uncomplicated." So far, close to 700 have availed themselves of the opportunity.

    "It works as intended, so we think it is time to consider whether this option [of legal sex change] should also exist for under-18s," Eva Kjer Hansen said.

    According to Kjer Hansen, further details must be taken into consideration, though, as a 10-year-old clearly is not at the same developmental stage as a 16-year-old.

    "Also, this must naturally occur with the parents' permission. To what extent other criteria must be fulfilled, I cannot say at the current time. That must be looked at more closely," Hansen said.

    READ MORE: Sweden Mulls Easing Legal Gender Change to Reclaim Status as Leading LGBT Nation

    The Danish Society for Transgender Children (FSTB) has long campaigned for extending sex change opportunities to children and teenagers.

    This initiative would include changing the recipient's personal registration number (CPR), where gender is denoted through the last four digits. According to FSTB, young transgender people can often experience embarrassing or humiliating situations, when their CPR doesn't "match" their appearance. In Denmark, the CPR is used in a lot of situations, such as visiting a doctor or going to the library.

    READ MORE: From Tens to Hundreds: Finns Massively Interested in Gender Switch

    Moeisha Aden of the organization Sabaah, who works to improve the conditions of LGBT people with ethnic minority backgrounds, welcomed the action plan, stressing that opportunities for legal sex change were needed. According to Aden, Denmark only needs to copy the Norwegian action plan, which made sex change legal for children starting from age six.

    The Conservatives oppose legal gender change for children and adolescents. Conservative political spokesperson and group chair Mette Abildgaard said the party feared shifts back and forth, with teenagers reporting as boys one year and changing to girls the next year, resulting in a split identity.

    All in all, the LGBT plan involves the collaboration of 13 ministries and 42 different initiatives and is state-financed by Satspuljen, a government body for social and health initiatives, as well as individual ministries. So far, DKK 25 million ($4 million) has been earmarked for 15 of the initiatives.

    ​In 2014, Denmark became the first country in Europe to allow sex change on the grounds that an individual wants to belong to opposite gender. In 2017, Denmark moved diagnosis codes for transgender people from a chapter with psychological illnesses to a non-stigmatizing chapter.

    Related:

    Sweden Mulls Easing Legal Gender Change to Reclaim Status as Leading LGBT Nation
    From Tens to Hundreds: Finns Massively Interested in Gender Switch
    Tags:
    sex change, LGBT, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Scandinavia, Denmark
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