Equalities Minister confirms under 18s will be protected from trans procedures

The Minister for Women and Equalities has told controversial trans lobby group Mermaids that she will continue to protect youngsters from harmful ‘sex-swap’ procedures.

In April, Liz Truss MP announced that under 18s would be protected from making “irreversible decisions” while “still developing their decision-making capabilities”.

Mermaids wrote to the Minister asking her to consult with transgender children and young people before she ‘clarifies’ her comments, but Truss stood by her original remarks.

Protect children

In her letter to Mermaids CEO Susie Green, Truss wrote that while she is “committed to ensuring children and young people are able to access appropriate and timely psychological and medical support”, she wants to protect them from potential harm.

She said: “I do believe that under 18s must be protected from taking decisions which could have an irreversible impact on their development.”

Truss also added that “the Gender Recognition Act does not currently enable those under 18 to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate and there are no plans for this to change”.

Not recommended

Unhappy at the Minister’s response, Mermaids Head of Legal and Policy Lui Asquith claimed that the conversation surrounding young people who believe they are transgender was beset by “harmful misinformation” and called for legal sex changes to be made much easier and for non-binary genders to be recognised in law.

The activist group wants medical interventions to be available to children from a younger age, contrary to NHS recommendations and despite the lack of research on their long-term impacts.

Mermaids CEO Susie Green evaded UK restrictions when she took her 16-year-old son to Thailand for a full sex-change operation.


When Truss first made her comments earlier this year, The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly said while the Minister’s statement was welcome, it left a number of questions unanswered.

He said: “Will the restrictions be limited to surgery? Or will they also include other treatments such as puberty blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones?”

He added: “The fact is that it is not possible to change biological sex, and that needs to be the foundation of the Government’s considerations going forward.”

Also see:

Young man

BBC criticised for ‘one-sided’ trans TV show for kids

Parents speak out against rushing children through trans treatments

Health experts launch investigation into puberty blockers for children

Related Resources