Sweden Set to Open Nation’s First ‘LGBT-Certified’ Sports Stadium

stadium
Jonatan Svensson Glad / CC-BY-SA 4.0 / via Wikimedia Commons

Sweden is set to open the country’s first “LGBT-certified” sports stadium with dressing rooms and bathroom facilities specially adapted to be inclusive of everyone “regardless of gender identity”.

Teams and sports associations wishing to use the Studenternas stadium in Uppsala, which local media reports will be ready for the 2019 soccer season, will have to undergo training in LGBT legislation and ideology.

The ‘LGBT diploma’, for which the arena’s entire workforce will undertake months of education, also focuses on “norm-critical” thinking, which purports that “prevailing norms in society” such as “whiteness” and “the binary-gender norm” are a “problem” because they result in “discrimination”.

“Uppsala municipality aims to be open and inclusive, where everyone has equal rights and the same opportunities,” the city’s sports and recreation board explained in a press release Tuesday.

Studenternas, which will also host large music concerts and similar events, is being designed to be as “gender neutral” as possible, and will likely feature unisex changing rooms with individual shower cubicles, as well as unisex toilets where possible.

According to the municipality, facilities will be adapted to ensure the stadium and its activities are welcoming and accessible to all sportsmen and spectators “regardless of [their] gender, gender identity, gender expressions, and sexual orientation”.

“I am pleased that Studenternas is to become Sweden’s first LGBT-certified arena,” said Rickard Malmström, chairman of Uppsala’s sports and recreation committee.

“Today, it should be obvious that everyone has the right to play sports, exercise, and watch sports on their own terms and without discrimination,” added the Green politician.

Danne Eriksson, the municipality’s marketing director for sport and leisure, said that the certification is aimed at “increas[ing] the feeling of belonging, comfort, and safety” as well as “improving knowledge and understanding of LGBT people and equality”.

Under the scheme, which is part of a wider project to make facilities in Uppsala more LGBT-friendly, the certification will be valid for two years before the stadium authorities must apply for a renewal, he explained.

As Breitbart London reported earlier this month, an initiative by an open-air swimming bath in the multicultural city of Malmö to encourage transgender bathers fell somewhat flat, with complaints that men and boys had taken advantage of the elimination of separate-sex areas to ogle nude women.

The regular promotion of sexual minorities in Sweden, where “social justice” features high on the list of priorities, has led to the nation’s reputation as a particularly friendly destination for LGBT travellers.

However, at the release of its annual Rainbow Index and Rainbow Europe Map last year, campaign group ILGA-Europe warned that Sweden was falling behind and must do more to ensure that “human rights” are respected.

In particular, the organisation demanded tougher “hate crime” and “hate speech” laws regarding insults to people on the basis of “gender identity or sex characteristics”, and urged the government ensure that asylum policies “guarantee effective protection on all SOGISC (sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics) grounds”.

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