Govt wants to make it straightforward to ‘change sex’

Government plans to make it easier to ‘change sex’ threaten the privacy of women, critics have warned.

Equalities Minister Justine Greening announced at the weekend that the Gender Recognition Act would be reviewed, saying ‘intrusive’ medical checks should be removed.

Both Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have spoken out in favour of such plans in recent days – with the Labour leader saying he wanted people to be able to ‘self-identify’ their sex.

Invade privacy

However, The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert warned: “Allowing men to self-identify as female without any medical diagnosis allows them to invade the privacy of women and girls.

“Where this policy has been tried in the US, women and young girls have experienced the fear and humiliation of finding themselves sharing toilet and changing facilities with men.

“Transgender people aren’t the only people with rights. Women have rights too.”


Mr Calvert added: “If politicians believe we can redefine our own gender at will, it’s no wonder others are following this to its logical conclusion and advocating transracialism and even transageism.”

Describing the principle of “gender self-declaration” as wrong, anti-scientific, and dangerous, he called on elected representatives to “focus on the real issues facing the country”.

Parents group Transgender Trend also spoke out against the proposals.

It warned, “if any man can identify as a woman with no tests and gain access to spaces where women might be getting undressed or feel vulnerable — like women’s hospital wards, refuges and rape crisis centres — women will just stop going to these facilities”.

New birth certificate

Currently, an adult who has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and lived for two years as a person of the opposite sex, can apply for a gender recognition certificate.

They are issued with a new birth certificate declaring that they were born in their chosen gender.

Fewer than 5,000 have been granted since the 2004 legislation came into force.

‘Straightforward choice’

The Government says it wants to “streamline and de-medicalise the process for changing gender”.

Claiming that changing sex was merely a choice, Justine Greening said “we need to try and make that choice more straightforward than it already is”.

A consultation on the Gender Recognition Act will be published in the autumn. It will propose “removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before being able to apply for gender recognition” and “reducing the length and intrusiveness of the gender recognition system”.

In Scotland, a separate consultation will discuss allowing 16-year-olds to change gender, and permitting people who say they are “non-binary” to select an “X” on passports.

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