Danish government launches historic legislation initiatives: Today August 22, 2020, the Minister for Equal Opportunities Mogens Jensen (SocDem) presented a number of far-reaching initiatives regarding LGBTI-related legislation.
The initiatives will be turned to Bills to be passed by Folketinget – the Danish parliament – subsequently.
Removal of the age limit regarding legal gender recognition i.e. children and young people will have access to self-determined legal gender at any age.
At the same time the reflection period is dropped. Today, when a person applies for change of legal gender, the application has to be confirmed by the applicant after six months before processing begins. In future processing can begin immediately.
The declaration model used for legal gender recognition shall be used for name change also. Today a medical assessment is required, evidently a reminiscence from old days. This is for persons who have not changed legal gender, as the latter gives access to name change also.
Also access to have X in the passport is extended. Today access is granted, if the applicant declares to feel as the opposite sex. This restriction is removed to accommodate for intersex people and persons who do not rigidly identify as male or female i.e. gender fluid persons. This is the first time in a regulation context intersex and gender fluidity is included.
Non-discrimination and hate crime
Gender identity, gender expression and gender characteristics are added to the list of protection grounds.
Gender identity, gender expression and gender characteristics are added to the list of grounds which can be considered aggravating circumstances i.e. the hate crime provision.
Until now sexual orientation was included in the protection provisions on the labour market only. Gender identity, gender expression and gender characteristics was not included at all. Now all four will be covered on the labour market as well as outside the labour market.
Furthermore, following these extensions cases regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and gender characteristics can be filed with the Board of Equal Treatment in cases on the labour market as well as cases outside the labour market. The board is an administrative complaint body.
This is the first time the protection laws would be amended by political intention only and not driven by international law in terms of conventions, directives and the like.
Since the 2013 amendment of the Children’s Act same-sex parents can be recognized automatically upon the birth of the child. This is only possible, however, if the child was conceived in a clinic (at the responsibility of a health care professional, to be exact). Thus, children conceived at home would not fall under the Children’s Act, in these cases a co-mother would still have to adopt her child by means of second parent adoption. The requirement regarding a health professional will now be dropped so all children will have their legal parents appointed by the Children’s Act.
Transpersons becoming parents will be recognized as parents according to their gender. Thus, a trans man will become a father, a trans woman will become a mother. The person giving birth will have the same legal position regardless of gender i.e. for instance the person giving birth is obliged to tell the authorities who the other parent is as the birth person will know how the child was conceived. This is the kind of things the Children’s Act deals with. Thus, if the father gives birth to the child, he is obliged to tell who the other parent is exactly as is the case if a ciswoman giving birth.
The LGBT committee is satisfied
The initiatives are the result of a two years long process where a cross-ministerial work group has scrutinized the legislation to identify legal inequalities regarding LGBTI persons. The analysis of the workgroup was released concurrently with the initiatives. It is a thorough analysis also referring the legislation in selected countries – incidentally Rainbow Map is also referred to.
The government has decided on the initiatives, and the LGBT committee is very satisfied how the government goes to length to solve the issues. We in the LGBT committee have followed the work closely and have interacted with the cross-ministerial workgroup. We will follow the legislative process in the following months very closely to see the initiatives turned into law.
The LGBT committee
Martin Christensen Tina Thranesen Søren Laursen
Governments presentation (in Danish):Nye initiativer skal sikre plads til forskellighed
Presentation by the LGBT committee (in Danish): Ambitiøst udspil om juridisk kønsskifte og ligebehandling
Spokesperson Søren Laursen, the LGBT committee, on the initiatives (in Danish): Derfor et fantastisk regeringsudspil