Labour wants to weaken safeguards for ‘changing sex’ but stops short of self-ID

The Labour Party wants to make it easier to change legal sex if it comes into power.

Currently, in order to obtain a gender recognition certificate a person must have lived as if they are a member of the opposite sex for two years. Two medical diagnoses of gender dysphoria are also required, one of which must be from a specialist, and the application must be approved be a panel.

But according to The Times on 19 May, Labour is considering plans to axe the panel and only require the involvement of one doctor, who could be a GP. In addition, a spouse would no longer be able to refuse consent to their ongoing marriage with a husband or wife who has changed legal sex.


Shadow Women and Equalities Minister Anneliese Dodds claimed: “We want to see the process for gender recognition modernised, while protecting single sex spaces for biological women. This means stripping out the futile and dehumanising parts of the process for obtaining a gender recognition certificate, while retaining important safeguards.”

But Fiona McAnena, Director of Campaigns for women’s group Sex Matters, said: “What is really dehumanising is telling women that we are defined by feelings, not biological reality.

“Labour says it will protect single-sex spaces for ‘biological women’ – as if there is any other kind of woman. But how can it do this if any man can wave around a new birth certificate that says he is a woman?”

She warned: “Private doctors are already prescribing puberty blockers and hormones to young people after a single Zoom call. One ideologically motivated online doctor could allow thousands of men to get false birth certificates that hide their previous identities.”

Gender self-ID

Last year, the Labour Party dropped its pledge to allow people to change legal sex by self-declaration but proposed weakening current protections for obtaining a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer declared that a “woman is an adult female”, and the Labour Party doesn’t think that “self identification is the right way forward”.

The UK Labour leader said its National Policy Forum “gave us the chance to reflect on what happened in Scotland recently”, and “allowed us to be clear that there should be safe places, safe spaces, for women, particularly in relation to violence against women and girls”.

He said the case of convicted rapist Adam Graham, who was initially placed in a Scottish women’s jail, explains why women “want a safe space where they can feel that they are properly supported and protected”.

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