A gay parade participant is waving the rainbow flag, which has become a strong symbol for the worldwide LGBT community, in Denmark in 2013
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June 1, 2016 1:52 AM EDT

Denmark will declassify “being transgender” as a mental disorder by next year, lawmakers on the country’s parliamentary health committee decided Tuesday.

The change to the official classification will take effect on Jan. 1, 2017, Agence France-Presse reports. Danish parliamentarians also say the move is meant to put pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO), which is yet to officially remove transsexualism from its list of mental and behavioral disorders.

“It is completely inappropriate to call it a sickness,” Flemming Moller Mortensen, the Danish health committee’s deputy chairman, told AFP. The WHO plans to discuss the proposed change later this year.

Rights group Amnesty International welcomed the decision, calling Denmark — which in 2014 became the first country in Europe to allow citizens to change their gender without medical records — a “role model for [transgender] people’s rights.”

[AFP]

Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com.

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