A bill submitted to parliament will provide clearer protections for transgendered people in Iceland if passed into law.
While Iceland is well known for its progressive laws about the rights of gays and lesbians, the public discussion about transgendered people is still relatively new. In many ways, there are gaps in legislation regarding the protection of their rights. Vísir reports that Minister of Welfare Guðbjartur Hannesson has submitted a bill to parliament which could go a long ways in changing that.
The purpose of the bill is stated as “to ensure that transgendered people receive equal treatment before the law, in harmony with human rights.” It contends that the waiting period for receiving examination and corrective surgery can take years, and even then, being legally recognised as having one’s gender corrected is an often complicated and unsure process.
The bill is fairly comprehensive. It defines a transgendered person as anyone who, from a young age, has felt as though they were born with the wrong physical gender and seeks to correct it. The application of the bill focuses mostly on two areas: the creation of a medical team at the national hospital to help identify the transgendered and provide corrective surgery, and greater ease with changing one’s gender in the national registry and other legal documents. It would also ease the process by which gender identification and correction done overseas is recognised in Iceland.
If passed, the bill will take effect on June 27.