Sweden One Step Closer To Ending Forced Trans Sterilization

Sweden came one step closer over the weekend to ending the forced sterilization of its transgender citizens when the conservative Christian Democratic Party agreed to a repeal of the brutal practice.

Part of the Swedish legal code since 1972, the law forces Swedes wishing to legally change their gender on national documentation to undergo surgical procedures that render them infertile.

Activists have worked for years to get the statute repealed but Christian Democrats—currently part of Sweden’s governing coalition— have long resisted.

But after more than 77,000 people signed an petition to end the practice the CDP caved and, on Saturday, announced its support for a repeal.

The effort featured a powerful video by Love Georg Elfvelin (above), a 21-year-old trans man, and was reportedly the largest ever online campaign for transgender rights.

The compulsory-sterilization law is expected to be formally abolished in the coming months.

“This is an incredible news for Sweden,” said Ulrika Westerlund, President of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights. “It means that anyone will be able to have their true identity recognized without having to be sterilized.”

Sweden is far from alone in requiring sterilization as part of sex reassignment: The Council of Europe identifies nearly 30 member countries with such conditions on the books, including France, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Several U.S. states also demand it. Recently, Italy and Germany have overturned similar laws.

Watch Love’s inspiring video below: