(Bloomberg) -- Finland passed a law that will improve the rights of transgender people, removing obstacles and cutting red tape around the legal process for recognizing their gender. 

The new law, passed by the parliament on Wednesday, allows those over 18 years of age to self-declare their gender and have it legally recognized. The law also removes a requirement to prove infertility.

The revamp, approved with 113 votes in favor versus 69 against, was one of the key legislative efforts of millennial Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s government, whose five parties are all led by women. The previous law had last been updated more than two decades ago and included a requirement to have doctors sign off on the legal change of gender.

The debate in parliament was contentious, with most criticism levied by the more conservative and religious lawmakers. Some opposition Finns Party members argued that allowing self-declaration of gender could potentially give criminals another layer behind which to hide their identity, while others said men could use it to avoid military service.

In a similar move at the end of last year, the Scottish Parliament passed a bill that would make it simpler to legally change gender, which sparked opposition from the British government.

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