The Scottish Government has been threatened with legal action over legislation which critics say redefines the definition of “woman”.
Women’s rights group For Women Scotland criticised the Government for including men who identify as female in a law designed to address the number of women on public boards.
In a letter threatening court action, the group said that the Scottish Government had exceeded its powers and warned that it may seek a judicial review.
The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018’s definition of women does not affect other legislation, but For Women Scotland warned that its negative effect could still be felt more widely.
Spokeswoman Marion Calder said: “It beggars belief that the Scottish Government has introduced new legislation that contravenes the very essence of what a ‘woman’ is in law. This is just the introduction of self-identification of sex by the back door.”
The group added: “We believe this Act raises significant concerns for the status of women in Scotland” and said it “may be used as precedent to undermine legal protections for women”.
This is just the introduction of self-identification of sex by the back door
The Scottish Government said it would give the letter “full consideration”.
At Westminster last month, a Conservative MP urged his party not to change the law on gender reassignment, and instead champion the fact that biological sex is real and a “fundamental building block of society”.
Danny Kruger, who was formerly Boris Johnson’s political secretary, believes the politics surrounding sex and gender is “a minefield” at present, but that the Government should not be put off from clearly and compassionately asserting the truth.
He said that if anyone wishes to formally assume the legal status and rights of the opposite sex, it is “a big deal, properly requiring the permission of government”.