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Icelandic Teen Wins Right to Birth Name

By Clea Kim

A 15-year-old girl in Iceland Thursday won her lifelong battle to use her given name, after government officials argued that her name was too masculine and inappropriate for a girl. The Reykjavik District Court ruled that the name “Blaer” can be used despite the opposition of authorities and Iceland’s strict law on names, reports the Associated Press.

For the past 15 years, Iceland authorities rejected the name “Blaer,” which means “light breeze,” alleging it was not a proper feminine name. Up until now, Blaer Bjarkardottir had been identified as “Girl” while in contact with officials.

Iceland has strict rules about baby names like a few other European counties, including Germany and Denmark. National rules demand that names agree with Icelandic grammar and pronunciation standards.

Blaer’s mother, Bjork Eidsdottir, said she did not know the name “Blaer” was not on the list of acceptable female names when she gave it to her daughter.

Ultimately, the court ruled that the name can be used by both males and females, and that Blaer had a right to her own name under Iceland’s constitution and European human rights conventions, reports the AP. The government argued that her request should be denied in order to protect the Icelandic language, but the court rejected that argument.

Blaer told the court she is very happy with her name and glad the matter is settled.

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