A woman in Norway faces up to 3 years in prison on hate speech charges after she said a man can’t become a lesbian.
Lesbian filmmaker and actress Tonje Gjevjon on November 17. has been informed that she is under investigation for speaking out against prominent Norwegian activist Christine Jentoft on Facebook. Jentoft is a transgender woman who often calls herself a lesbian mother.
Jentoft previously accused another woman, Christina Ellingsen, of transphobia for a similar claim. Ellingsen is also under investigation and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
Gjevjon’s Facebook page, which covered the research, wrote: “It is just as impossible for men to become a lesbian as it is for men to get pregnant. Men are men regardless of their sexual fetish.”
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She said she deliberately posted her Facebook message to draw attention to Norway’s hate speech laws.
Gjevjon’s comments appear to be under investigation for 2020. adopted amendments to the country’s criminal code, according to which “gender identity and gender expression” were included in categories protected from incitement to hatred. Individuals found guilty of inciting hatred face a fine or up to one year in prison for private speech, and up to three years for public comment.
Women’s rights activists, including the International Declaration of Women of Norway, represented by Ellingsen, argued that the amendment undermined freedom of speech and expression in the country.
This is not the first time Gjevjon has spoken out on controversial topics related to gender and women’s rights.
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Last year, Gjevjon clashed with Norway’s Minister of Culture and Reality Anette Trettebergstuen, arguing that misconceptions about gender identity and biological sex have “harmful” and “discriminatory” consequences for women, especially lesbians.
“Will the Equality Minister take action to protect the rights of lesbian women by making it clear that there are no lesbians with dicks, that men cannot be lesbians regardless of their gender identity, and by fixing the harmful gender mess of policies left by the previous government?” Gjevjon asked.
“I don’t agree with the understanding of reality where only two biological sexes should be understood as sex. Gender identity is also important,” answered Trettebergstuen.
The first allegation of discrimination in Norway focusing on gender identity was made in 2018. The case involved a transgender woman who complained that she was asked not to shower in a women’s locker room at a sports center, according to the women-led news organization Reduxx. .
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Similar cases have occurred across Europe, including in Finland, where the case for religious freedom has grown among free speech and LGBTQ advocates.
In March, Finnish parliament member Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran bishop Juhana Pohjola were acquitted of all charges against them. Räsänen was charged with three counts of ethnic incitement in connection with the 2004 pamphlet, for participating in a radio discussion in 2019, and more recently for assigning a picture of the Bible.
in 2019 in a tweet, Räsänen questioned his church’s sponsorship of an LGBTQ Pride event and linked to an Instagram post with a picture of Romans 1:24-27, which calls same-sex relationships “shameful”.
Pohjola has faced one ethnic agitation for posting a pamphlet written by Räsänen on its church website that similarly criticizes gays and women.
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Norway is considered one of the most liberal countries in Europe for LGBTQ people, even allowing people to legally change their gender without a medical diagnosis.