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Equal Rights in Finland


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......................................................................Saturday, April 21, 2001

 

FINNS COLD-SHOULDER TRANSSEXUAL SAUNA COMPANION

 

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Residents of a Helsinki apartment block have asked the

country's top equality officials to rule on whether their transsexual neighbor,

formerly a man, can be banned from a women's sauna.

 

The appeal came after all the women living in the block of

flats quit using the sauna in protest at the transsexual's attempts to bathe at

times designated for women, the Finnish tabloid newspaper Ilta-Sanomat

reported on Friday.

 

The case has perplexed officials and will test the bounds of Finnish sex

discrimination legislation.

 

For the time being the transsexual -- who is officially registered as a woman

but in addition to silicon breasts still has a penis -- has been assigned private

sauna hours and given permission to attend men's bathing sessions, the

newspaper said.

 

"After all, men never mind a few women coming into the sauna," the building

superintendent told the paper. "As soon as the penis goes she is free to go to

the women's sauna."

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