Despite polling demonstrating that the majority of Scottish residents are opposed to their government’s proposals to make the process of self-identification easier and to lower the age at which people can identify as the opposite gender, Scotland’s government has gone ahead and voted in favour of these measures.
The Gender Recognition Reform Act was passed in the Scottish Parliament on 22 December 2022 by 86 votes to 39 due to a coalition between the Scottish National Party and the Green Party.
Recent polls for YouGov on behalf of the Times reveal that these reforms are opposed by two-thirds of the Scottish population.
The bill is an absolute disaster for the safety and well-being of women and children in Scotland. It allows anyone who says they are a woman to be legally recognised as one, meaning that people in possession of a gender recognition certificate can access spaces and programmes that were originally allocated for biological women.
Under this new regime, endorsed by Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party, no medical diagnosis will be required to obtain a gender recognition certificate and the age at which one can be obtained has also been lowered to 16.
The bill, if implemented, creates a disparity between the law in Scotland and in the rest of the United Kingdom, whereby the Equality Act treats gender reassignment and biological sex as separate categories.
The bill also raises the possibility of gender tourism in Scotland, whereby men could travel to Scotland to have their gender legally changed and then use their new official status to access female-only spaces in other nations.
The bill has the potential to impact the NHS, the education system and the criminal justice across the whole of the United Kingdom and not just Scotland. It could make it difficult to guarantee same-sex care in the United Kingdom single-sex schools. It could also allow biologically male Scottish prisons to be placed in women’s prisons.
The government has the legal powers to block this bill, under section 35 of the Scotland Act and Scottish secretary Alistair Jack has indicated his willingness to do so. Sign the petition to urge him to turn his speech into action and stop this disastrous bill from being implemented and affecting the rights and safety of women and children across the United Kingdom.
Nicola Sturgeon’s New Trans law could put women at risk in English schools, hospitals and prisons (Daily Mail)
Time is tight, write to your MP to protect Scottish women and UK law (Graham Linehan)
Why Scotland’s self-ID bill should be referred to the Supreme Court (Sex Matters)