50,000 Europeans call for end to forced sterilization of transgender people in Sweden.
Activists hand delivered a petition of 50,000 signatures to the Swedish Prime Minister's office yesterday, calling on the country to end forced sterilization of transgender people.
Under the current law, which has been in effect in the Scandanavian country since 1972, a trans person must be sterilized or else their gender change is not recognized legally.
Ulrika Westerlund, president of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RSFL), says despite a major push to repeal the law, including support from 90% of Swedish MPs, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has stayed silent on the issue.
RFSL and rights group AllOut.org gathered 47,689 signatures from European citizens urging Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to speak out and break the deadlock, which has allowed one small conservative party Kristdemokraterna to use its seat in government to block the change.
'The Swedish Prime Minister has publicly called sterilization law a "dark chapter in Swedish history,”' says Andre Banks, co-founder of AllOut.org.
'Now he has a chance to close that chapter for good, reaffirm Sweden's international reputation on human rights and set a precedent in Europe where other countries have similar barbaric laws.'
Last month, MEPs called for the Swedish government to repeal the law.