The Scottish Government is to press ahead with controversial reforms to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA), despite widespread opposition.
Proposals are expected to sweep away current safeguards – removing the need for any medical evidence, reducing the two-year period to change legal sex to three months and extending sex swaps to 16-year-olds.
But results from a Scottish Government consultation on changing how the GRA operates in Scotland reveal significant objections to its plans, and last week hundreds of people gathered outside Holyrood to protest against them.
The Christian Institute was among nearly a hundred organisations to raise serious concerns.
It said that the Bill was effectively proposing a “self-declaration system” as it lacked any definition of ‘acquired gender’ and failed to require applicants to provide any proof of having lived as a member of the opposite sex. The Institute said that three months was far too short a period, “regardless of definition and evidence requirements”, to make such a “major life decision”.
It also described the proposal that applicants be given a further three months of ‘breathing space’ to reflect on their decision to change legal sex, particularly in the light of the experience of detransitioners, as no more than “a token gesture”.
On extending sex-swaps to 16-year-olds, it said: “Given that the majority of people seeking out specialist gender services are in their mid-teens, and given the present size and complexity of transgender teenage culture, an age reduction is reckless.”
On Thursday, women protested outside the Scottish Parliament, accusing Nicola Sturgeon of “ignoring biology while advancing trans rights” by allowing people to legally change their sex.
Marion Calder of For Women Scotland – the group behind the protest – said “No one has convincingly made the argument that women do not need safe spaces, that teenage girls do not need privacy in changing rooms.
This ‘right side of history’ is a cruel and intolerant place
“Yet this is what campaigners who have sought to dismantle women’s protections argue — or rather insist. This ‘right side of history’ is a cruel and intolerant place.”