Sweden will no longer sterilise transgender
ed patients after a law banning the practice entered into force on Thursday, but many who have already undergone a sex change are now seeking damages from the state. The Stockholm administrative court of appeal recently ruled that the practice of forced sterilisations, which dated back to a 1972 law on sexual identity, was unconstitutional and in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In its December 19th decision, the court said the law did not respect civil liberties as guaranteed by the constitution, and was discriminatory since it solely targeted transgender people. The law stated that a person who wanted to change sex legally must be infertile. In practice, this lead to transgendered patients being sterilised, as they had to go through with the entire process including gender reassignment surgery in order to have their ID documents changed.
Some Swedes chose to wait to change sex legally in order to have their own biological children. LGBT rights organisation All Out hand delivered 80,000 protest signatures to the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in January 2012, the Global Post reports.
The new ban on the practice entered into force on Thursday after an appeal period ended, judge Helen Lidö said. The government had planned on removing the sterilisation requirement on July 1st, 2013 but the ruling sets legal precedent from now on.