Denmark passes best legal gender recognition law in Europe
11 June 2014
Today, the Danish Parliament introduced in the last reading a new regulation which allows legal gender recognition
for trans people solely based on their self-determination and without any medical intervention or other opinion. The only requirements are a minimum age of 18 years and a six month waiting period. With this decision, Denmark becomes the European state whose respective regulation is in best compliance with Human Rights. Until today only
Argentina had met this standard.
On June 11, the Danish Parliament voted on a government proposal to reform the Danish legal gender recognition
legislation, i.e. the law defining how trans people can get their gender marker changed in all official documents in order to match their gender identity, a step of enormous importance in their daily life. The law which will come into force in September this year is the most progressive in Europe and the first to accept the basic right to self-determination of trans persons on the continent. The only requirement in order to change the gender marker in all official documentation (more precisely the Danish personal registration number which is gendered) is a minimum age of 18 years. After a six month waiting period and a reconfirmation of the application changes will
be made by the state. In contrast to all other European states, Denmark does not require any psychiatric diagnoses or any certificate by the medical profession. This does not only acknowledge the fact that trans people are the only experts about their own gender identity but protects as well their human dignity by not stigmatizing them as mentally disordered.
Transgender Europe highly welcomes the new regulation which shows that the standards TGEU demands for in their
campaign “Access all Areas! – Recognition opens doors” can be reached with the respective political will.
“With this decision Denmark has shown how easy it could be to change name and gender in Europe. Requirements such as sterilization, divorce or a mental diagnosis are fossils of the past. Modern legal gender recognition respects the right to self-determination.” says Finland-based Arja Voipio, TGEU Co-chair.
“This is ground-breaking for trans persons in Denmark and elsewhere. We hope that other countries will follow the
Danish example and pass quick, accessible and transparent legal gender recognition legislation based on self-determination swiftly. Nevertheless, for the young generation of trans people in Denmark we hope that the minimal age of 18 years will be dropped eventually.” comments TGEU Executive Director Julia Ehrt
Transgender or Trans is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression
differs from the sex assigned to them at birth.
Legal Gender Recognition is the process of changing the name and gendered information on
official key documents and in registries, in order to recognize a
person’s gender identity.