MSPs will begin voting on reforms that would remove barriers for trans people in Scotland to change their gender identity on official documents, with a final vote scheduled for Wednesday (21 December), according to the NNC
The legislation, which passed its first vote on 27 October, would amend the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to lower the age limit to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate from 18 to 16, and shorten the period a trans person would have to socially transition before legally changing their gender.
Trans people would also be able to gain legal recognition without being required to get medical reports or a diagnosis in order to obtain a GRC.
Ahead of the final vote, 1,500 postcards calling for reform will be delivered to the Scottish Parliament, and 33,255 emails have been sent to MSPs.
Backers of the bill will also be gathering outside the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.
The letter to MSPs, which has been signed from organisations spanning the whole of Scotland, reads: “This week, the Scottish Parliament has a historic opportunity to continue Scotland’s journey towards full social and legal equality, for all LGBT+ people, by passing a new law which will remove bureaucratic and dehumanising barriers to legal gender recognition for trans men and women.
“As an LGBT+ community we have seen the repeal of Section 28, protection from discrimination, and equal marriage as some of the key steps forward in a country that respects all who live here, no matter who they love or who they are.
“In this journey we have learned that we are stronger when we are united.”
A protestor asks for the right to self-identify their gender in the UK, which was one of the demands campaigners had for reform of the Gender Recognition Act. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty)
The gender reform legislation, which passed its first vote on 27 October, would make make the pathway to legal recognition simpler and easier for trans people in Scotland.
It comes after similar reforms were mooted for the whole of the UK, before being dropped by the Tory government.
On Monday (19 December) it was reported that UK equalities minister Kemi Badenoch will attempt an intervention on reform.
A government source told the Daily Mail: “Kemi wants to understand what their evidence is.” This is despite years of research and a public consultation having already taken place
The legislation sailed through the first vote with 88 MSPs voting in favour and only 33 voting against
Under current legislation, trans people must apply to a UK gender recognition panel and present reports as well as a diagnosis of gender dysphoria – a process that can take years given the immense wait lists at NHS gender clinics.
Dr Rebecca Crowther, policy coordinator at the Equality Network added: “This letter reaffirms what many of us already knew, that the vast majority of LGBT+ people support reforming the Gender Recognition Act and this bill proposed by the Scottish government.
“LGBT+ people have seen huge steps forward to their rights in two decades, and we urge MSPs to continue to make progress forward by backing the bill.”