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On trans issues, Iceland just put Britain to shame

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Scotland joined England and Wales on Thursday in delaying a decision about proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, against a backdrop of a bitter culture war. Meanwhile, Iceland has just passed one of the most progressive laws on trans and intersex rights without any public conflict. The law has the potential to make Iceland the world leader on LGBTI rights, with the condition that interventions on intersex infants will eventually be banned.

As an Icelander I’m honoured to have been one of the people drafting the bill and to finally see a big part of it become a reality, four years after we started the process. The work was led by grassroots LGBTI activists in Iceland, and has been both the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life.

The law ensures that anyone can seek trans-related healthcare and change their name and gender on official documents without a medical diagnosis, and also allows people under 18 to do the same with the consent of legal guardians. It also allows for a third gender on official documents, marked by the letter “X”.

While the proposed changes to the GRA have received a hostile reaction in........

© The Guardian