Census action – “believer in biology”

The guidance for the question “What is your sex?” in this month’s Scottish census states that the answer you give can be different from the sex given on your birth certificate, and that a Gender Recognition Certificate is not needed. This means the data collected will be a mix of sex and “gender identity”, and we will lose important information about the sex of our population – information that is vital in planning for services.

As a protest against this we recommend that people fill out the religion section of the census with “Believer in biology“.

It is our understanding that it is fine to tick the box for your religion AND fill out the text boxes with “Believer in biology”.

Most of us will have already received a letter about the census through our letterbox. If you haven’t yet, it should arrive shortly. We ask that you follow the information given on the letter to request a household paper copy of the census.

Completing a paper copy, rather than completing it online, will not only cause the authorities inconvenience but also means that a historical record is preserved. Just as we can see the Suffragettes protest messages on the 1911 census, in a hundred years our granddaughters or great-granddaughters will be able to see that we also stood up.

We DO NOT recommend identifying as “non-binary” or anything that would lead to women not being recorded as female. However, having a paper copy gives us much more scope to be creative with writing messages – some good suggestions are on our Twitter thread. Other examples include Suffragette colour ribbon inside the return envelope or writing your replies upside down on the census form.

Please remember to do this in addition to declaring that you are a “Believer in biology”.

It is also possible for each member of your household to request their own personal paper copy of the census to complete. If possible, please do this too – it gives us multiple opportunities to protest.  You don’t need the access code from your census letter to order paper copies, just follow these steps:

1. Go to www.census.gov.scot and click on “Make a request”

2. On the next page click on “Individual questionnaire”.

3. On the next page click on Request individual paper questionnaire”.

4. On the next page click the link at the bottom that says “Don’t have an Internet Access Code?”.

5. On the next page enter your postcode and select your address for delivery of your paper copy.

Whatever else you decide to do on the census we would please ask that you join with us in declaring yourself to be a “BELIEVER IN BIOLOGY” – we would love to maximise the returns with the same entry!

Update 10 March 2022: It seems we are having an impact – Scottish Daily Express “Scottish Census struggling to send out paper copies due to thousands of requests”