The Government will not allow people to change legal sex by gender self-identification, the Minister for Women and Equalities has told the House of Commons.
Kemi Badenoch emphasised that despite LGBT groups pushing the UK Government to introduce gender self-ID: “Stonewall does not decide the law in this country.”
The Minister’s remarks came as she announced the Government’s updated list of approved countries and territories that are deemed to have “rigorous” requirements for changing legal sex. This is intended to prevent people from obtaining a UK Gender Recognition Certificate via an overseas country which allows gender self-ID.
Responding to the SNP’s Women and Equalities Spokeswoman Kirsten Oswald MP, Mrs Badenoch said: “We are just making it clear: self-ID is not something that this Government support.
“We do not believe that this is something that people should just declare, because that creates the very same problems that she saw in Scotland in the Isla Bryson case, with rapists going into women’s prisons. We will not allow that to happen on this Government’s watch.”
The Minister emphasised the importance of protecting single-sex spaces for women’s safety, and pledged to ensure that “fair sport is a right that every woman and every girl can enjoy”.
She warned that although “girls often fear being physically injured by biological males”, they remain silent because “they are scared of being called bigots”.
self-ID is not something that this Government support
Mrs Badenoch added that the Department for Education’s (DfE) repeatedly delayed transgender guidance for schools, which was expected by Christmas, should be released “very shortly”.
She stated: “No child is born in the wrong body, and no child should be put on a pathway towards irreversible medical transition.”
The Minister said: “We should not be socially transitioning any primary school children at all, or introducing them to those theories”.
In March, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged that the Department for Education guidance would be released “for the summer term”, but it has been delayed due to disagreements within the cabinet. The guidance has been expected to clarify that schools should not treat gender-confused children as if they were the opposite sex.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has emphasised that in the interim “schools and colleges should proceed with extreme caution.
“They should always involve parents in decisions relating to their child, and should not agree to any changes that they are not absolutely confident are in the best interests of that child and their peers.
“They should prioritise safeguarding by meeting their existing legal duties to protect single sex spaces and maintain safety and fairness in single sex sport.”