Scot Govt delays trans reform until after 2021 election

The Scottish Government is unlikely to implement controversial reforms to gender recognition laws before 2021, according to The Sunday Times.

It reported that several SNP figures are worried that changing the law to make it much easier for people to legally change sex will prove unpopular with the public.

The dissenting SNP members are pushing for the draft Bill to be delayed until the end of this year or even next year. Any delay to the consultation process would make it unlikely the Bill would become law until after the Scottish elections in May 2021.


Cabinet Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville told Holyrood last week that she was “acutely aware of how divided opinion is”.

She said that the Government would only push ahead with its plans once it had gained “maximum consensus”, and had properly addressed “valid concerns”.

She added that legislation would not be tabled until there had been “a full consultation on the precise details”.

Public opposition

The Christian Institute was among those cautioning against change when the Scottish Government carried out its consultation on gender recognition reform.

Deputy Director Ciarán Kelly told The Sunday Times that the politicians were “clearly taken aback by the level of hostility”.

“The Scottish public, especially women, are firmly opposed to allowing people to change legal sex more or less on demand. That includes a number of SNP MSPs who recognise how damaging these proposals could be.”

Leya Terra of Women and Girls in Scotland, which opposes implementing changes without regard for the safety and privacy of others, said the Scottish Government had drawn up the policy with a “closed circle” of state-funded pro-trans groups.

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