Denmark launches first LGBT action plan

42 initiatives to tackle ignorance, intolerance and insecurity  

All colours are part of our future (photo:
June 6th, 2018 3:00 pm| by Christian W

For the first time ever, a Danish government has launched a LGBT action plan in a bid to prevent discrimination and promote equal opportunity and security for the LGBT community.

The plan contains 42 initiatives and the equality minister, Eva Kjer Hansen, wants to face up and challenge a current environment that has borne alarming stats for the community – such as how one half of all Danish gay people avoid openly holding hands for fear of violence, threats or harassment.

“We won’t accept that the rights of gay and transgendered people are being abused. We won’t accept that this group must generally live a worse and unsafe life,” said Hansen.

“The figures we can read regarding safety, well-being and suicide are sad and too high. But it’s even worse when looking at ethnic minority groups, in which a third have thought of suicide. It speaks of a history and culture in which ignorance and intolerance fester when it comes to being gay and transgendered.”

READ MORE: Denmark to unveil historic LGBT initiative

Ignorance is not bliss
According to recent stats, 40 percent of gay and transgendered people are not open about their sexuality or gender identity at work, while 22 percent of new Danes believe that homosexuality is an illness.

Among the 42 initiatives are improving guidance, networking opportunities and support groups, while more focus is being levelled at promoting openness and inclusion in the labour market and for LGBTs from ethnic minority groups.

In terms of health, a new centre will be established with the purpose of collecting and distributing knowledge on the LGBT arena, while more information will be given to parents of children who have a variation in gender characteristics.

Read more about the historic LGBT action plan here (in Danish).

LGBT rights in Denmark through the ages:

1866 – the death penalty for homosexuals replaced by ‘improvement housework’

1933 – homosexuality is decriminalised

1968 – the government maintains that the police should step in if two men are seen dancing together in public. The ban is axed in 1973

1976 – The age of sexual consent for homosexuals is set to 15, as is the case for heterosexuals. Until then it was punishable to have a sexual relationship with a person of the same sex under the age of 18

1981 – The government removes homosexuality from the Danish list of mental illnesses

1986 – Parliament passes a law that equates cohabital persons of a same gender to that of traditionally married couples in terms of inheritance tax

1987 – differential treatment and discrimination due to sexual orientation is forbidden

1989 – Denmark becomes the first country in the world to pass a law that allows homosexuals to officially register their partnerships

1996 – Parliament passes a law that bans direct or indirect differential treatment in the labour market due to sexual orientation

1999 – Denmark becomes the first country in the world to recognise two parents of the same gender when registered partners gain access to stepchild adoption

2006 – Lesbians gain the right to be artificially inseminated in public hospitals

2009 – The registered partner of the mother gains access to stepchild adoption at birth and not after three months as was previously the case

2010 – homosexuals can apply to adopt on par with heterosexuals

2012 – homosexual couples can enter into marriage and do so in a church

2014 – Denmark becomes the first country in Europe and the third in the world to allow sex changes on the grounds that an individual wants to belong to the opposite gender

2017 – Denmark moves WHO’s diagnosis codes for transgendered people from the diagnosis chapter regarding psychological illnesses to a non-stigmatising chapter

2018 – Denmark unveils its first ever LGBT action plan

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