Trans activists have called on the Scottish Government to allow under 16s to change legal sex by self-identification.
Scottish Trans Alliance (STA) told Holyrood’s equalities committee that proposals under the Government’s Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, which are expected to sweep away current safeguards, do not go far enough.
The Scottish Government is set to press ahead with its controversial proposals to make it much easier to change legal sex by removing the need for medical evidence, reducing the two-year waiting period to three months and even extending ‘sex swaps’ from 18 down to 16-year-olds.
Speaking before the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee, STA’s Vic Valentine complained that the Bill did not “recognise trans people under the age of 16”.
Following the meeting, the radical pro-trans activist claimed that “having a birth certificate that has the wrong name and sex on it” caused distress to gender-confused children.
Valentine told The Times: “We think that, with parental consent, if a trans young person has transitioned and intends to live in that gender permanently, they should be able to update their birth certificate”.
Tattoos vs ‘sex change’
In March, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert, wrote to Nicola Sturgeon to “express the view that this proposed legislation would not serve the ‘common good’, the best interests of our society”.
On behalf of the RC Bishops’ Conference of Scotland he argued: “Currently, individuals under 18 years of age cannot buy cigarettes, purchase alcohol in licensed premises or get a tattoo.
“Yet the current Bill assumes they have the maturity to make permanent legal declarations on their gender which could lead to irreversible consequences, with scant knowledge of what this means for their long-term health and wellbeing.”
Last year, the charity Children in Scotland (CIS) said twelve-year-olds should be able to apply for a gender recognition certificate without parental permission.
Campaign group For Women Scotland described the CIS submission to the Scottish Government’s consultation as “extraordinary”.
A spokeswoman for the group said: “As the number of detransitioners rises, it is downright irresponsible to hurry vulnerable children, some as young as 12 years old, into decisions at what is often a confusing period.”
CIS received over £2.7m in grants from the Scottish Government during the financial year ending March 2021, amounting to more than 70 per cent of its total income.