The majority of the Scottish public opposes the Government’s plans to allow people to choose their own legal sex, a call for views has revealed.
Of the 10,800 legitimate submissions to the Scottish Parliament’s equalities committee, 59 per cent opposed the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, with only 38 per cent in favour and three per cent did not know.
If passed, the Bill would allow Scots as young as 16 to change their legal sex merely by self-declaration.
Those who opposed the Bill raised concerns about the impact on women’s sports and single-sex spaces, warning that “predatory males” could apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate to “gain access” to female-only spaces.
They also highlighted that the proposals could have “life-altering” effects on young people.
But a Scottish Government spokesperson claimed that its first consultation showed that 60 per cent were in favour of its controversial proposals.
Posting on Twitter, Olympic marathon runner Mara Yamauchi criticised the Holyrood’s equalities committee for not inviting female athletes to give evidence on the Bill.
She said: “No women, no female athletes, no organisations defending women’s sport, no questions from any MSPs showing concern for women’s sport. Scottish Parliament not interested in women’s sport, females’ voices nor hearing variety of views?”
Yamauchi added: “Committee hearing was a one-sided, biased rubber stamping exercise of what SNP wants. Whatever happened to pluralist debate, robust scrutiny of proposed legislation, hearing all views etc? So much for the democratic process.”
Earlier this month, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) urged the Scottish Government to consider the “potential consequences” of its Bill.
Melanie Field, an Executive Director at the EHRC, told the equalities committee “more detailed consideration is needed before legislative change is made”.
“Questions continue to be raised in different quarters about potential consequences. For example, in relation to the collection and use of data, participation and drug testing in competitive sport, measures to address barriers facing women and practices within the criminal justice system.”