The Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson has announced that the government is looking to include “gender expression and identity” into its current hate crime legislation.
The current hate crime legislation, known as incitement to hatred, covers speech aimed at individuals based on their sexual orientation, race and religious belief. The new amendment would add gender identity and expression to the existing law according to Johansson Sveriges Radio reports.
“This is a special vulnerable group, which has been exposed to hate for a long time,” Johansson said.
Johansson also stated the new legislation would make it illegal for anyone to discriminate against a person based on their gender expression. He added it was important “to highlight that the government is concerned about this type of harassment.”
The Swedish government has discussed including transgender into the hate crime legislation since 2014 with the current government campaigning in the last election to amend the law.
They want to change the hate crime law even further by dropping the word “race” from the existing legislation, aiming to do so by July of next year.
The rationale for the change, according to Johansson, is that race isn’t scientific.
“We want to distance ourselves from the concept of race, which of course lacks any scientific evidence that we can divide mankind into races,” he said.
The proposal echoes recent legislation passed in Canada under the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Bill C-16, which was passed through the Canadian Senate earlier this month, has come under fire from some who have said it will compel Canadians to use preferred pronouns under risk of fines and possible jail time.
One of the main voices expressing concern over adding gender expression to the existing hate crime laws was Canadian academic Jordan Peterson.
Dr Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, argued against the bill, saying he would personally refuse to use pronouns if he felt he was being compelled to do so.
The province of Ontario, led by the first openly lesbian premier in its history, Kathleen Wynne, passed an even more draconian law regarding children who expressed a desire to change their gender.
Bill 89, “Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2017, it is claimed, would allow the Ontario government to remove children from families who refused to accept their child’s “chosen gender identity.”
Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services, Michael Coteau said, “I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently,” adding, “If it’s abuse, and if it’s within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.”
In Sweden, the number of children claiming to want to change their gender has been increasing 100 percent every year according to child psychiatrist Louise Frisén who added that the children were also getting younger and younger each year.