Allowing people to ‘change sex’ simply by declaring it to be true would “override science”, an SNP MSP has said.
John Mason, the MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, challenged his own party’s support for the idea that someone can self-determine their biological sex.
The Scottish Government wants people as young as 16 to be able to change legal sex more easily, removing the need to live as the opposite gender first, or to have a medical diagnosis.
Mr Mason said that “confused or dissatisfied” people should be treated with love and honesty, rather than allowing them to change sex.
He added: “Are we trying to override science by saying it is possible for males to become females and females to become males?”
He also hit out at those who brand anyone who questions homosexual or transgender ideology as “transphobes” and “bigots”.
Mr Mason said: “Does it help the discussion to call our opponents bigots or transphobes? I do hope we can all try to engage in a balanced and sensitive way.”
Further criticism came over controversial guidance for transgender children in schools, which was funded by the Scottish Government.
Supporting Transgender Young People was published last year by LGBT Youth Scotland and has been heavily criticised since.
The guidance was adopted by half of Scotland’s local authorities, but a letter to SNP parliamentarians from its own grassroots supporters says parents and teachers are alarmed by the guidance.
Parents were said to be particularly concerned at advice that said children should be supported in changing gender in school, regardless of age, and teachers should not inform parents.
The letter also said the guidance was accepted “apparently without any consultation, evaluation or risk assessment”, and called on councils to urgently review their policies.
The Christian Institute has criticised the guidance since its publication. Deputy Director Simon Calvert said: “The fears expressed in the letter echo the concerns of many.
“It is good to see grassroots SNP members expressing their views so clearly to SNP MSPs trapped in the Holyrood bubble.”