To protect trans people from discrimination, new terms might be added to the country’s hate speech laws. The Social Democratic minority government plans to add the following terms to section 266b of the criminal law code: gender identity (kønsidentitet), gender expression (kønsudtryk) and sex characteristics (kønskarakteristika).
The first report on this proposed law came from the Danish newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad. Section 266b of the criminal law code which is also known as the ‘Racism Paragraph’ will be changed with the intention of preventing hate speech against trans people. This was originally enacted in 1939 to curb antisemitism in the country.
This would mean that hate speech against trans and intersexual people will hold the same bearing as homophobic and racist speech making it a crime.
Denmark has always valued free speech and their laws allow certain liberties for pointed statements to be made in public debate without being judged as racist.
“The paragraph works well. You have to reach a certain level of offensiveness before statements break the law, and this is out of consideration for free speech,” University of Southern Denmark law professor Sten Schaumburg-Müller said in an interview with Kristeligt Dagblad.
“For example, you would have to say that a particular group are cancerous tumours or rodents that must be exterminated in order for it to be criminal,” the professor elaborated.