Norway has expanded its “hate speech” laws, which can sentence people to one year in prison for private comments, to include people who identify themselves as “transgender”, LifeStyle reports.
Previously, the code prohibited “hate speech” based on skin color or national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, homosexual orientation and disability.
The amendments changed “homosexual orientation” to “sexual orientation” and added “gender, identity or gender expression” to the list of protected attributes.
Those who break the law can face up to one year in prison for “discriminatory remarks” made in private and up to three years for public comments.
When explaining the reason for the changes, Monica Maeland, Norway’s minister of justice and public security, told Reuters: “It is imperative that the protection against discrimination offered by criminal law be adapted to the practical situations that arise”, noting that transgender individuals are “an exposed group when it comes to discrimination, harassment and violence”.
A quarter of people were victims of hate speech
In his analysis of the “human rights situation of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and intersex ”in Norway, LGBT activist group Rainbow Europe claims that a quarter of LGBT people were victims of hate speech last year, and that“ 15 percent of LGBT people received threats personally during the same period, compared with 4 percent in the general population. “
Norway has some of the most liberal laws that support the confused gender and is ranked fifth in its policies by Rainbow Europe. Children as young as 7 years old have the right to change their sexual identity in legal documents without a medical or psychological diagnosis of gender identity disorder, and there is no requirement for those who identify themselves as members of the opposite sex to undergo any treatment to change the appearance.