Govt to launch trans consultation before summer

The Government plans to launch a consultation on proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act in the next few weeks.

The Prime Minister announced last year that a consultation would take place on streamlining the process of legally changing sex by allowing people to ‘self-identify’ their gender.

It was initially expected to have been launched last year, but was delayed when former equalities minister Justine Greening privately admitted the issue was “complex” and “divisive”.

LGBT survey

Greening has since departed from the role, as has her successor Amber Rudd.

The recently-appointed Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt – who is also the Secretary of State for International Development – said the consultation would be published “shortly”.

She said: “Our National LGBT Survey received over 100,000 responses and we are using these results to shape the questions in the consultation.”

’Equalities agenda’

According to Pink News, Mordaunt said: “I think we need to increase what we’re doing on the equalities agenda across government”.

She added that she will be “making some announcements in the coming weeks”.

Women’s minister Victoria Atkins echoed Mordaunt’s comments in a parliamentary debate, telling MPs that trans issues are still on the agenda.

She said: “We are analysing the responses of trans people in the LGBT survey, and we are aiming to launch the consultation before the summer recess.”

’Deeply concerned’

The summer recess begins on July 24, which gives the Government just under nine weeks to publish the consultation.

While the Government continues to push reforms, some transsexual people are against changing the law.

In a letter to the Guardian, seventeen transsexuals said they were “deeply concerned” about proposals to remove safeguards.

They said that replacing the current process for changing sex with an “over-the-counter style self-declaration” blurs the distinction between those who have had surgery, and those who have no intention of doing so.

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