Christians in Finland are worried about the effects of the new transgender law: “Our legislators have sunken into the abyss of irrationality”.
“When the same-sex unions were legalized, we predicted that it will not be the end of the road, but rather beginning of something worse”, a Christian theologian and radio broadcaster in Finland told Evangelical Focus after the newest transgender law was passed.
The reform now allows anyone aged 18 or more to change their legal gender with a self-declaration and without any medical intervention. Despite the willingness of the government to rush the law through parliament in September, an amended text was not passed until 1 February.
“I am not surprised about this transgender law”, theologian Pasi Turunen continues. “I’m only surprised about how quickly this development happened after same-sex marriage law”.
“Our legislators have sunken into the abyss of irrationality”, he concludes.
Among the minority of parliamentarians who tried to stop the change of the law (69 ‘no’ against 116 ‘yes’) were the 5 representatives of the Christian Democratic Party, a group which holds to conservative Christian values.
The chair of the party, Sari Essayah, lamented that, as a result of the law, “young people may be encouraged to adopt a new gender identity without exploring what mental health challenges they may have. This is not good care and at worst it is abandonment”.
She also asked why statistics based on subjective perceptions should be used to shape official policies.
Another experienced politician who has been vocal in her criticism of the law is Eija-Riitta Korhola, a philosopher who has been a Finnish Member of the European Parliament for 15 years.
“The core problem with the bill is the conceptual confusion that underlies it: it uses the term gender to refer both to biological sex and to gender identity based on one’s own subjective knowledge and experience. As a result, the law becomes inconsistent in a way that can lead to a great deal of inconsistent jurisprudence, whether we like it or not”.
The law only will add confusion among young people, she believes. “Instead of encouraging them to be happy with who they physically are, the situation creates one more decision-making problem in the world. What used to be a biological fact to start from is now a tick box to decide for yourself”.
“Now the public baths and showers can be occupied by a biological male”, she writes. “Parents and grandparents, is this what you want for early teenage girls? If you object, you may be guilty of transphobia and hate speech”.
According to Korhola, politicians have not acted with responsibility. “Legislators need to address difficult issues when they legislate; invoking human rights in general is not enough, especially when rights may clash”.
The former parliamentarian argues that “many trans people and members of the sexual minority are also opposed to the bill, because it carnivalises the whole gender solidarity phenomenon (…) They deserve love, understanding and compassion, not to be the symbol of this kind of legislative lunacy”.
[title]LGBT groups aim for more
On the other side of the debate, groups like Seta, Finland’s oldest LGBTQI+ organisation, welcomed the news.
According to Euronews, the group’s Secretary General, Kerttu Tarjamo, said they were “disappointed” the law did not give the right to self-declaration 16 and 17-year-olds, as it happened in recent laws approved like that in Spain.
But “we know that there is strong support for more trans reform”, he added.
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