Being LGBT in Norway
The organized battle for gay and lesbian rights in Norway began sixty years ago, in 1950. Since then we have seen great improvements in the legal rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT people).
We have the right to marry, but not yet in church, and enjoy the same legal status as married couples except for some rights concerning children.
People of all occupations and ages are openly LGBT in our society. We have had a gay minister of finance and a lesbian minister of justice and most of us experience little discrimination in our daily lives.
However, there are still areas where the law discriminates against LGBT people. The Norwegian church still has the right to refuse to employ LGBT people. We can be considered as adoptive parents, but in practice this right remains illusory as there are very few Norwegian children for adoption, and as yet it is not possible to adopt from abroad. Married couples do, however, have the right to assisted fertilization. If the donor is unknown, the couple has to go through the step-child adoption procedures.
There is still prejudice in parts of the heterosexual population. It is harder to be open about being LGBT for young people than for adults, but even harder for elderly people who often go back into the closet when they start depending on public welfare services. It is harder in small places than bigger places. It is harder within many ethnical minorities than in the majority group. It can be especially hard in some religious societies.
Unfortunately, quite a few young people still commit suicide because they are ashamed of being LGBT. Shame and fear of prejudice and discrimination still makes young LGBT people drink more alcohol and do more drugs than heterosexual youth.
LLH fights for gays and lesbians legal rights. We work to increase knowledge and lessen prejudice in the majority population. And we create safe meeting-places for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth all over the country.