Iceland’s Gender Autonomy Act is a Step Forward for Trans and Intersex Rights

An article on the Iceland review released on Wednesday inspires confidence in Iceland’s legislative commitment to protecting the rights of citizen identity and personal autonomy. The bill would ensure that surgery and gender reassignment would be outlawed until a point where an intersex child is old enough to make their own decision.

Whilst the bill to prevent infant male circumcision seems to have dropped off the radar for the time being, this new piece of legislation shows Iceland’s conscientiousness and sympathy to the rights of children and to citizens who do not have a rigid identity structure or may wish to make their own decisions on it when they reach an age of maturity.

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MADRAS HIGH COURT: LEAVE INTERSEX CHILDREN ALONE

The High Court of Madras has decided recently to protect the rights of intersex children. This is a monumentally progressive stance that has been taken, and Justice GR Swaminathan was quoted with the following words:

“When a child is born it is usually endowed with male genitalia or female genitalia. But there are children who are born with genitalia that belong to neither category.  They are known as intersex children. They must be given time and space to find their true gender identity. But the parents make the infant undergo sex reassignment surgery.”
– Justice GR Swaminathan

Justice K Chandru (formerly a judge of the Madras High Court) was cited from a ruling in 2007 by Justice Swaminathan. Chandru expressed how the consent of a parent cannot be considered as that of the child.

Elegantly, the 2007 ruling included the following quote from Khalil Gibran, the 19th century poet:

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life. They come through you but not from you and though they are with you they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls. For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent.”

– Khalil Gibran

This is an abstract. To read the full article which goes into greater detail please visit IndiaLegalLive.com

Whilst the high court ruling does not apply to the entire of India, it does show that the sentiment is there to respect the consent and future choices of intersex children until they are mature enough to make a decision over their own bodies.

‘MY SON KILLED HIMSELF AFTER CIRCUMCISION’

The tragic story of Alex Hardy who tragically took his own life in 2017 as shared via the BBC. It was his wish that others hear of his plight and like others before him it shows that there is a real need for us to acknowledge the difficulties of men who have been misinformed regarding the consequences of some circumcisions.


It quickly became apparent that what had just happened was a catastrophe… I died in 2015, not now.”

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IHRA: JOINT STATEMENT TO THE CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION & THE W.H.O

JOINT STATEMENT ON “MALE & FEMALE: HE CREATED THEM”, TOWARDS A PATH OF DIALOGUE ON THE QUESTION OF GENDER THEORY IN EDUCATION, BY THE CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION.

We, intersex-led and allied networks, organizations and activists, express our grave concern regarding the position adopted by the Congregation for Catholic Education in regard to people born with variations of sex characteristics. The document treats us as validly existing only when unnamed, and pathologized as subjects of forced and coercive medical interventions. This will cause profound distress to many intersex people and our families. We reject these positions because of their intrinsic harm to intersex people.

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HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE BEGINS SCRUTINY OF FGM PROTECTIONS

The Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee is starting its detailed scrutiny of plans to enhance protections for women and girls who have suffered or who are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).

The committee will be hearing directly from communities and individuals affected by FGM through its outreach work, as well as from officials who will be tasked with administering any changes. It has also today launched a general call for views on the issue.

The Scottish government’s current proposals include creating ‘FGM Protection Orders’. These orders would impose conditions or requirements on individuals to protect someone from FMG, or to keep an FGM victim safe.

The government estimates…


To read the full article, follow this link.

“WE EXIST!” – INTERSEX COMMUNITY AROUND THE WORLD RESPOND TO REMARKS BY THE VATICAN

Image source: Wikipedia

Vatican office said intersex babies should be subject to medically unnecessary procedures to make them ‘normal’

Intersex people have delivered a powerful call to the Vatican, saying ‘we exist’.

Networks, organizations and activists expressed their grave concern following a document released by the Congregation for Catholic Education. The office said intersex children must be subject to forced medical intervention to ‘normalize’ them.

Elsewhere in the document, the office also said trans people ‘annihilate the concept of nature’.

Intersex groups tell Vatican: ‘We exist’

Intersex-led and allied groups around the world have penned an open letter to the office.

They say the comments will cause ‘profound distress to many intersex people and our families’.

To read the full article follow this link.

CHANGING PERSPECTIVES: FGM & MALE CIRCUMCISION

One of the often used (although misguided) arguments surrounding the ethics of circumcision is that of the difference between male and female genital cutting. Whilst the more severe (type 3 infibulation) can be considered drastically worse than an atypical male circumcision, the outlawing of any form of ritual piercing, nicking, cutting, scraping or other forms of harm (type 4) shows a stark double standard in the way that we treat these two similar practices.

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THE EVOLVING DEBATE IN THE UK SURROUNDING MALE CIRCUMCISION

With the world wide debate surrounding circumcision becoming more prominent with each passing year it is interesting to consider how each country will react to the practice. This year in the UK the BBC have approached the debate on multiple occasions sharing views from both sides by taking the religious opinions as expressed by the leaders of the Jewish and Islamic faiths whilst simultaneously acknowledging the perspective of some of the men who have been seriously harmed by this (usually unnecessary) practice.

Largely it comes down to a rites versus rights. (SeeChild Rights & Religious Freedoms” by Saxon Norgard).

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QUEEN ELIZABETH II HONOURS FGM CAMPAIGNERS

Leyla Hussein had mixed feelings when she found out that Queen Elizabeth II was naming her an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her work to eliminate female genital mutilation.

“I had to think hard about whether to accept,” she says, citing the British history of colonialism. But in the end, proud of being British and living in a country that took in her parents as refugees from Somalia, she accepted the honor, along with fellow anti-FGM advocate Nimco Ali…

To read the full article you can follow this link here.

CIRCUMCISION & PHIMOSIS STORIES: ‘I’M SCARED OF MY OWN PENIS’

The tragic but brave story of Alex Hardy has given strength to the voices of many men, some of them suffering in silence until now. Caroline Lowbridge presents a BBC article detailing some of the issues and challenges that have presented themselves to those who have been adversely affected by circumcisions.

One man’s son was recommended a circumcision to aggressively treat phimosis. Fortunately the father managed to resolve his own phimosis as a child using a steroid cream and was therefore aware of the treatment.“The consultant said this has almost no chance of working but was prepared to prescribe a steroid and give it a go. About eight weeks later, the problem was resolved.”

Read the rest of the article following this link.

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