RC bishops urge MSPs to oppose ‘sex swap’ Bill

Scotland’s Roman Catholic bishops have joined the chorus of those calling on Holyrood to reject the Scottish Government’s controversial gender self-ID Bill.

In a statement, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said it was “gravely concerned” about the impact of the proposals on people struggling with gender-confusion, on women’s safety, and on free speech.

The final debate and vote on whether to pass the Bill is programmed to take place later today.

‘Vulnerable individuals’

Outlining their concerns, the bishops said that allowing a person “to change their legal sex” without having to consult a doctor will deny vulnerable individuals access to “the important medical oversight that goes with it”.

They also said: “Children must be protected from making permanent legal declarations about their gender which may lead to irreversible elective interventions, including surgery.

“Lowering the minimum age from 18 to 16 and introducing a system of self-identification will put more children and young people on this path.”

The bishops added: “Our concerns are amplified by the intervention of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, which has described the Bill as ‘unsafe’ and likely to harm young people.”


The statement reiterated the primary concern raised by women’s organisations over the increased risk posed by the Bill “to the safety of women and girls by men self-declaring as female and accessing women-only spaces”.

It went on to say: “The freedom to hold the reasonable view that sex and gender are given and immutable and disagree with the idea of gender as fluid and separable from biological sex should be upheld.

“Particularly for those who work in education, healthcare, the prison service, or as marriage celebrants who, from both reasonable and religious perspectives, hold an understanding of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.”

They concluded: “We urge members of the Scottish Parliament to uphold these freedoms and to oppose this Bill.”

Christian Institute

The Institute’s Deputy Director for Communications Ciarán Kelly has described the proposals as the legislative embodiment of the “false belief” that “men can become women and women can become men”.

He also warned: “Dangerously speeding up the ‘sex swap’ process and replacing medical diagnosis with self-declaration will tragically push even more gender-confused young people onto the transition conveyor belt.

“And, despite Scottish Government protestations, we know this is going to have an adverse impact on single sex spaces and women’s safety.”

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