A lesbian artist could face criminal charges and a possible prison sentence for posting on social media that men cannot be lesbians, a statement that placed the woman in conflict with Norway’s hate speech law.
In a Facebook post last week, Tonje Gjevjon, who could face three years in prison, wrote that drawing attention to the Norwegian hate speech law is her “latest project.” The rest of the post posed a challenge, with Gjevjon writing, “Put this lesbian in jail, Minister of Culture and Equality Anette Trettebergstuen!”
The artist learned on Nov. 17 that she was under investigation by police after she countered the claims of trans-identifying males, who called themselves lesbians, in an October Facebook post.
“It’s just as impossible for men to become lesbian as it is for men to become pregnant,” Gjevjon wrote. “Men are men regardless of their sexual fetishes.”
In the post, the artist also asserted the fact that “men with fetishes have been protected as a vulnerable minority through the foolish and constructed concept of gender identity is koko.”
The Norwegian woman also criticized Christine Jentoft, a Norwegian trans activist and a representative of the trans activist group Foreningen FRI. Gjevjon took issue with “[h]eterosexual lesbian men” like Jentoft speaking as women for “queer” organizations and for using the law to report women like her.
Earlier this year, Jentoft filed criminal charges against Christina Ellingsen, a representative of Women’s Declaration International (WDI) Norway. Police launched an investigation into Ellingsen’s alleged “transphobia” after she stated that men could not be lesbians or mothers.
Gjevjon indicated in her post that she believes Norway’s politicians, such as Trettebergstuen of the Labour Party, are adopting “gender identity” legislation at the expense of women’s rights.
As the feminist news website, Reduxx reported last week, Gjevjon claims she posted the statement on Facebook to draw attention to Norway’s hate speech law. In 2020, Norway’s parliament voted to expand the country’s penal code to outlaw “hate speech” against individuals that identify as transgender.
Last year, the artist asked Trettebergstuen during an open discussion hosted by the Labour Party how she planned to safeguard the rights of women and girls. Gjevjon also asked Trettebergstuen if she thought that men could be lesbians.
“I believe it is absolutely necessary to place biological sex as the basis in all contexts where sex has legal, cultural, or practical relevance, and that equating sex with gender identity has harmful, discriminatory consequences for women and girls — especially lesbians,” Gjevjon stated during her question.
“Will the Equality Minister take action to ensure that lesbian women’s human rights are safeguarded, by making it clear that there are no lesbians with penises, that males cannot be lesbians regardless of their gender identity, and by tidying up the mess of the harmful gender policies left behind by the previous government?”
Trettebergstuen replied, “I do not share an understanding of reality where the only two biological sexes are to be understood as sex. Gender identity is also important.”
Writing for the Norwegian outlet Klassekampen in February, Gjevjon described how the art world she’s belonged to for over 15 years has started pushing her out, with trans activists labeling her work as “dangerous.”
In a separate case in Finland, Member of Parliament Paivi Rasanen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland had hate speech charges against them dismissed by a court, The Christian Post earlier reported.
The pair faced prosecution for creating and publishing a 2004 pamphlet titled Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian concept of humanity. The pamphlet promoted marriage as something that is between one man and one woman.
A three-judge panel on the Helsinki District Court determined in a unanimous ruling that the government should not be interpreting “biblical concepts.” The court reasoned that the pair’s statements did not constitute hate speech, even if the remarks offended members of the LGBT community.
The court ordered the prosecution to pay the legal costs associated with the trial.
Alliance Defending Freedom International, which represented Pohjola and Rasanen, asserted that the district court upheld the right to free speech.